European, Chinese Experts Meet in Hainan to Discuss Migrant Integration

Capacity Building, Integrated Border Management

Sanya – As China becomes an increasingly important destination for international migrants, it faces new challenges relating to their integration and ways to optimize their contribution to the country's economy and society.

This week, IOM, the UN Migration Agency organized a two-day policy seminar in Sanya on China's tropical resort island of Hainan, focusing on citizenship, residence permit systems and migration institutional arrangements in Europe and China.

The seminar brought together 33 officials from central and provincial levels of China's State Immigration Administration with seven experts from European Union (EU) Member States and China to showcase various systems and identify best practices.

China is experimenting with various migrant integration initiatives, including in Yiwu, near Hangzhou. Local authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have also launched pilot programmes to optimize the benefits of migration for both migrants and local communities. The schemes are based on the premise that better integration of migrants at local and regional levels will maximize the positive impact of migration on local development.

Speakers at the Hainan seminar included experts from Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, who shared best practices in their respective countries.

Spanish migration researcher Prof. Pablo Mateos, who is based at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico, highlighted the importance of integration in optimizing the migration process. “Citizenship is seen as a means for life strategy, to ease mobility for world travel, to facilitate family transmission and to improve access to welfare,” he noted.

The seminar is part of a series of technical exchanges under the framework of the EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project funded by the European Union Partnership Instrument.

For further information please contact Etienne Micallef at IOM China. Email:, Tel: +86105979969.

  • Prof. Pablo Mateos, Spanish migration researcher, shares his analysis of the concept of citizenship in Europe with seminar delegates in Hainan, China. Photo: IOM