As European co-legislators resume their negotiations on the proposed Asylum and Migration Fund for 2021-27, European NGOs are calling for it to provide humane, transparent and effective support for asylum, migration and integration in the EU.
For the European NGO Platform on Asylum and Migration (EPAM), the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF) for 2021-27 should:
- Address vulnerability and ensure protection.
- Safeguard policy coherence in non-EU countries.
- Implement partnerships with civil society organizations in practice.
- Ensure coordinated and significant resources for integration.
On behalf of the SHARE Network, ICMC Europe particularly emphasizes the NGO joint statement’s call for the proposed Fund to ensure meaningful collaboration and partnership with civil society organizations and guarantee effective coordination and resourcing for integration across relevant EU funds.
The experiences of implementing the SHARE Network since 2012 demonstrate the crucial role of both civil society organizations and regional and local authorities in making successful integration a reality on the ground.
The SHARE Integration program, 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 SHARE’s short film portraying successful examples of local welcome and integration partnerships in small municipalities across the EU.)
ICMC Europe therefore echoes the joint statement’s support for a proposed AMF recognition of the key role of civil society organizations and regional/local authorities in this area, demonstrated by its proposal to increase the co-financing rate for integration actions implemented by these actors.
As in the joint statement however, ICMC Europe urges 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 – be accompanied by regular integration coordination mechanisms at 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, ICMC Europe further emphasizes the joint statement’s call for a minimum allocation of 30% of AMF funds to integration actions at the national level.
As seen in the experience of the SHARE Network, European civil society organizations and regional/local authorities are able and willing to welcome refugees and third-country nationals settling in EU Member States as well as to support their successful integration. It is incumbent upon the European institutions to ensure that EU funds recognize this central role and that they enable these actors to make the fullest possible contribution to integration and inclusion across the EU.
- Click here to read the full EPAM statement
- 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