Law and private governance for a new understanding of immigrant integration

LUII aims at deepening our understanding of the notion of immigrant integration within the legal context, including the role of non-state actors in undertaking integration tasks.

The Carlsberg Foundation has funded the project "Law and Private Governance for a New Understanding of Immigrant Integration", running from 2020-2025. Immigrant integration remains a challenge for most European countries. Governments struggle with issues ranging from resource allocation to cultural adaptation of migrants, especially refugees. Denmark has an extensive regulatory framework for immigrant integration. Nevertheless, statistics show that even after many years of residence, refugees have a hard time maintaining a stable place on the Danish labour market. Moreover, refugees and immigrants in general have trouble accessing permanent housing, and they have more health problems than other sections of the population. Legislation can help in facilitating immigrant integration in multiple ways, including by boosting the role played by non-state actors in integration processes.



The LUII project will compare Danish, European and international legal standards on integration in order to identify the part of the legislation that may act as a barrier to refugees and migrants' opportunities for access to the labour market, housing, and healthcare services in Denmark. The research project will look particularly at the importance of the contribution of private actors to integration work. The project aims at helping to strengthen legal rights for migrants and refugees, and at providing private, non-governmental actors with an overview of the Danish integration rules. During the project, representatives from NGOs, municipalities and companies will be invited to workshops where the research results will be presented.

Sub-project 1: Danish, EU, and International legal standards of immigrant integration

The project will compare Danish, EU, and international legal standards of immigrant integration by investigating legal instruments and court decisions on immigrant integration (Postdoc Matteo Bottero).

Sub-project 2: Barriers to employment, health, and housing for immigrants’ integration

The project will incorporate an interdisciplinary frame around the legal analysis by providing a sociological analysis of the barriers for immigrant integration in terms of access to employment, housing, and health services (PhD student Maj Rørdam Nielsen).

Read more on the BASE survey's website

Sub-project 3: Integration law and private governance

The project will evaluate and engage the contribution of non-state actors to develop topics of integration law that intersect with private law issues, with the goal of defining an integration process based on the rule of law (contact: Silvia Adamo).


LUII International Conference 2024

LUII workshop



LUII Roundtables – a series of webinars on immigrant integration, spring/summer 2021




11 March 2021

14.30 – 15.30

Clíodhna Murphy (Maynooth University) and Matteo Bottero (UCPH, Faculty of Law)

Human Rights and Equality ‘Auditing’ of Integration Policy

21 April 2021


Claes Nilas (Danish Repatriation Department)

Nogle cases med migration til Danmark (siden 2. Verdenskrig) og betydningen heraf for integrationspolitikken (NB: In Danish)

6 May 2021


Mette Gromada, HR Consultant, Group Diversity (Bilka/Salling Group) and Mads Ted Drud-Jensen (Danish Refugee Council)

Businesses and NGO’s take on integration

27 May 2021


Lars Larsen, LG Insight (consultancy) and Frederik Thuesen & Vibeke Jakobsen, VIVE (The Danish Center for Social Science Research)

Barriers to integration in the labour market in practice

24 June 2021

17 - 18.15

Sergio Carrera (CEPS Brussels) & Hiroshi Motomura (UCLA School of Law)

Policy directions for integration law



  • Silvia Adamo (2022), The Danish Legal Framework for Migration: Between a Humanitarian Past and a Restrictive Present, in Foblets, MC. & Carlier, JY. (eds) Law and Migration in a Changing World. Ius Comparatum – Global Studies in Comparative Law, vol 31. Springer.
  • Silvia Adamo (2022), “Please Sign Here”: Integration Contracts Between Municipalities and Foreigners in Denmark, Journal of International Migration and Integration, 23, 321–342.
  • Matteo Bottero (2023), Integration (of Immigrants) in the European Courts’ Jurisprudence: Supporting a Pluralist and Rights-Based Paradigm?, Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer Nature.
  • Matteo Bottero (2022), Integration (of Immigrants) in the European Union: A Controversial Concept, European Journal of Migration and Law, Brill | Nijhoff, 24(4) 516-544.
  • Maj Rørdam Nielsen & Signe Smith Jervelund (2023), Experiences of access to healthcare among newly arrived immigrants in Denmark: Examining the role of residence permit (E-pub ahead of print), Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, Supplement. 27 p.
  • Maj Rørdam Nielsen & Signe Smith Jervelund (2023), Impacts of an interpretation fee on immigrants’ access to healthcare: Evidence from a Danish survey study among newly arrived immigrants, Health Policy, 136, 8 p., 104893.



Materials from the BASE survey:

Infographics with results

BASE survey questionnaire

  • English
  • Danish
  • Language versions in Arabic, Farsi, Tigrinya, Thai and Turkish are available upon request

Information folder for immigrants on housing, work and health in Denmark

Teaching materials for Danish language education on housing, work and health in Denmark






Internal researchers

Name Title Image
Adamo, Silvia Associate Professor Billede af Adamo, Silvia
Bottero, Matteo Postdoc Billede af Bottero, Matteo
Nielsen, Maj Rørdam PhD Student Billede af Nielsen, Maj Rørdam


Carlsberg Foundation logo

Law and Private Governance for a New Understanding of Immigrant Integration has received a three year funding from Carlsberg Foundation

The project is led by Associate Professor Silvia Adamo

Project: Law and Private Governance for a New Understanding of Immigrant Integration

Period: 2020-2025


Silvia AdamoAssociate Professor
Silvia Adamo

Faculty of Law
University of Copenhagen
South Campus, Building: 6B.3.40
Karen Blixens Plads 16
DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Phone: (45) 35 33 14 05

External members:

Els de Graauw, Baruch College, the City University of New York

Francesca Biondi Dal Monte, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa

Hiroshi Motomura, University of California Los Angeles, School of Law