Pilot Study Migrants’ Experiences of Racism and Discrimination in the EU

This pilot study is based on the data of 12 country studies of EU Member States.

The studies were conducted between 2002 and 2005 in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and UK. Main reference and vantage point was a study conducted in Sweden in 1997 on discrimination subjectively experienced by different groups with migrant background. The Swedish study was used as a model in order to produce a series of surveys that should contribute to a deeper understanding of the situation of migrant groups in Member States of the European Union.Altogether more than 11.000 respondents with migrant background answered questions about their possible experience of discrimination. The study shows that a significant number of migrants in all twelve countries have subjectively experienced discriminatory practices in their everyday life. Migrants seem to be particularly vulnerable in the sphere of employment and in the context of commercial transactions, where nearly on third of respondents had subjectively faced discrimination. The same proportion of migrants reported to have encountered discriminatory practices by the police or in education.

The report concludes that further research as well as public awareness raising is needed as regards the presence of discriminatory practices against migrant groups. The EUMC therefore regards the present report as a first tentative step towards a more systematic data collection on ethnic minorities' experiences of discrimination in everyday life.