Just as there has been tension between EU migration policies and national level policies, there is growing evidence that local authorities are taking a more proactive position to define local policies for third country nationals. In some countries, these complement stronger positive national policies, in other countries, where there is an absence of national migration policies, local authorities are playing an important role in supporting the integration of third country nationals within society and the local economy. They do this through social cohesion activities, language education and wider education and life-long learning services. The position of third country nationals in the labour force is often weak, especially women and those with low levels of education. There is a need for more focused strategies to make the recognition of existing qualifications easier and quicker. Austerity policies have had an impact on third country nationals because they have resulted in cuts to services, e.g. social cohesion, which were specially targeted at third country nationals. Public sector workers responsible for services for third country nationals have experienced cuts in budgets, more difficult working conditions and a lack of training, which has made it more difficult to deliver adequate public services.