As European co-legislators resume their negotiations on the proposed Asylum & Migration Fund (AMF) for 2021-27, ICMC Europe today signs a joint statement by the European NGO Platform on Asylum and Migration (EPAM) calling for the Fund to provide humane, transparent and effective support for asylum, migration and integration in the EU.
The Fund must:
- Address vulnerability and ensure protection.
- Safeguard policy coherence in non-EU countries.
- Implement partnerships with civil society organisations (CSOs) in practice.
- Ensure coordinated and significant resources for integration
On behalf of the SHARE Network, ICMC Europe particularly emphasises the joint statement’s call for the proposed Fund to ensure meaningful collaboration and partnership with CSOs, and guarantee effective coordination and resourcing for integration across relevant EU funds.
The experiences of implementing the SHARE Network since 2012 demonstrate the centrally important role of both CSOs and regional/local authorities in making successful integration a reality on the ground. The SHARE Integration programme, implemented during 2018-19, has further shown how smaller municipalities and rural areas across the EU can make significant contributions to welcome and integration, especially when supported by effective regional coordination. Click here to watch the SHARE short film portraying succesful examples of local partnerships for welcome and integration in small municipalities across the EU.
ICMC Europe therefore echoes the joint statement’s support for the proposed AMF’s recognition of the key role of CSOs and regional/local authorities in this area, demonstrated by its proposed higher co-financing rate for integration actions implemented by these actors.
As in the joint statement, we however urge that the multi-fund approach to integration proposed for 2021-27 – in which integration beyond the ‘early stages’ of settlement would mainly be supported by the proposed European Social Fund Plus – is accompanied by regular integration coordination mechanisms at the national and European levels, and common performance indicators linked to national strategies for integration and a renewed EU Action Plan on Integration. To ensure that gaps in integration provision do not arise, and that integration does not fall victim to competing national political priorities, we further emphasise the joint statement’s call for a minimum allocation of 30% of AMF funds to integration actions at the national level.
As evidenced by the experience of the SHARE Network, European CSOs and regional/local authorities have the capacity and desire to welcome refugees and third-country nationals settling in EU Member States and support their successful integration. It is incumbent upon the European institutions to ensure that EU funds recognise this central role, and enable these actors to make the fullest possible contribution to integration and inclusion across the EU.
Click here to read the full EPAM statement.
For more information on welcome and integration in smaller municipalities, we invite you to:
- Read the SHARE-IFRI publication 'Another Story from the Refugee Crisis: Resettlement in Small Towns and Rural Areas Across France' (also available in French)
- Watch the SHARE Network animated short film on approaches to refugee placement across the EU