Building upon a well-established cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the SHARE network has recently joined the Cities and Regions for Integration initiative. Through this collaboration, the SHARE Network will support the initiative’s ongoing best practice exchange and capacity building, particularly in the areas of integration in rural areas and in resettlement and complementary pathways.
"A vital strategy that we have is to organise multistakeholder engagement and getting different actors together to look at targeted solutions"
The SHARE Network participated in the 9th CIVEX Commission Meeting, as part of the session ‘Supporting EU cities and regions by funding inclusive communities through the new Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027'. At this occasion, ICMC Europe Director Petra Hueck highlighted the opportunities for multistakeholder partnerships between regions, cities and local communities, under the horizontal priorities of the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF 2021-2027). These multistakeholder partnerships will enhance solidarity and responsibility sharing between the Member States and national territories, which is essential for effective integration and social inclusion of refugees.
"Engaging cities and regions is one of the most important areas of further expanding Community Sponsorship acrosse Europe"
In partnership with the Basque Country, SHARE has been looking at models that cities and regions can develop to replicate and upscale examples of pilot regional sponsorship programs. First implemented by the Basque Country, the pilot programs were then replicated by the Valencia and Navarra regional governments. In these programs, the responsibilities for welcoming newly arrived sponsored refugees are shared between the regional government and volunteer groups. The regional governments contribute to housing costs and also financially supports NGOs to ensure coordination of volunteers and develop quality volunteer engagement. To scale up regional programmes, the SHARE Network recommends that these are further strengthened as part of an national umbrella programme planning and setting targets for refugee arrivals. Such programmes can be supported under the AMIF 2021-2027 fund, and the as part as the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Longer-term approaches to foster inclusive territories, including through sponsorships, can also be done via the ESF+ and ERDF funds. To do so, longer term planning and engagement of stakeholders will be required.
To find out more about community sponsorship and the actions of EU regions and cities, read the European Parliament's policy paper.