Building welcome from the ground up: SHARE responds to the new EU Action Plan for Integration

Follow the links to read the SHARE Network written contribution to the European Commission’s consultation on the Action Plan (English / French)

 

On 24 November 2020, the European Commission (EC) launched a new Action Plan for Integration & Inclusion for 2021-27. The plan’s launch follows a 12-week consultation, including:

 

Read the Commission’s final report on the consultation on the integration and inclusion of migrants and people with a migrant background.

 

Based on the long experience of the SHARE Network in supporting welcoming and inclusive local communities for refugees and migrants across the EU, the SHARE Network consultation contribution highlighted six key areas for consideration:

  • The need for a strategic vision for integration and inclusion in the EUrather than a set of ‘patchwork’ measures.

  • A focus on reception and settlement measures for newcomers, including specific measures for those arriving via protection programmes and for vulnerable migrant groups.

  • Support for territorial approaches and solutions for welcome and integrationto strengthen and expand capacities and infrastructure more equally across national and regional territories.

  • comprehensive approach to providing integration services and support for all newcomers within defined territories.

  • Measures to foster and support multistakeholder and multilevel partnerships, cooperation and engagement, and participatory and co-creation approaches involving refugees, migrants and local communities.

  • Support to expand community-based sponsorship for refugees across the EU.

  • Ensuring coherence with EU funds, including through monitorinand evaluation.

 

ICMC Europe and the SHARE Network welcome the new Action Plan, in particular its commitments to:

  • Support multilevel and multistakeholder partnerships for integration.

  • Promotthe participation of refugees and migrants in consultation and decision-making at all levels.

  • Expand community-based sponsorship for refugees in the EU.

  • Improvaccess to EU funds for integration and inclusion for local and regional authorities and civil society actors.

  • Promotco-design approaches for integration involving refugees, migrants and host community members.

  • Assess and promote best practice in new ‘digital integration’ services developed in response to COVID-19.

We urge, however, that EU and national level policymaking, funding support and practical actions for integration and inclusion maintain a focus on reception and settlement measures for newcomers, including specific measures for those arriving via protection programmes and for vulnerable migrant groups. For refugees, unaccompanied children and victims of torture and/or trafficking, the purpose of integration support and services must be clearly understood as ensuring durable protection, with dedicated support made available for these groups in order to realise this aim.