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Integration Fund

Immigration has a valuable role to play in strengthening the EU’s competitiveness, addressing current and future demographic challenges and filling labour shortages. The key to maximising the benefits of immigration is the successful integration of migrants into their host societies. To this end, the European Fund for the Integration of non-EU immigrants (EIF) seeks to promote European cooperation, with the objective of granting comparable rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all.

Facilitating the integration of non-EU immigrants


With a budget of EUR 825 million for the period 2007-13 (EUR 57 million for Community actions), the EIF supports national and EU initiatives that facilitate the integration of non-EU immigrants into European societies. All EU countries except for Denmark participate in the EIF. The EIF is primarily targeted at newly arrived immigrants. It supports EU countries and civil society in enhancing their capacity to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate integration strategies, policies and measures, as well as their exchanges of information and best practices and cooperation on integration issues.

Concrete actions

Concretely, such initiatives include programmes for improving diversity management in neighbourhoods, intercultural training and dialogue, the promotion of courses for better understanding the integration processes, platforms and tools for comparative learning, measures for sharing information and best practices among European integration practitioners (e.g. online discussion forums, conferences, etc.) and activities in the hosting EU State and in the immigrant's country of origin on introduction to the host society.

The EIF is complementary to the European Social Fund (ESF) for actions related to the participation of migrants in employment.

General implementation mechanisms of the EIF

National Programmes: the Fund is mainly implemented by EU countries through shared management. This means that each EU State implements the Fund through national annual programmes on the basis of multiannual programming.

Community Actions: at the Commission's initiative, 7% of the EIF's available resources may be used to finance transnational actions or actions of interest to the EU as a whole.

Examples of projects

Intercultural Mediation programme in selected hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki

The introduction of intercultural mediators in hospitals facilitated communication between immigrants and hospital staff, thereby reducing cultural misunderstandings and promoting non discriminatory access to public health services.

Project dates:  14/03/2012 - 30/06/2012EIFGreece

Lerncafe Graz Leoben Knittelfeld

The ‘Lerncafe’ initiative was first launched in one Austrian town with EIF funding in 2007. It is now present across the whole of Austria, providing valuable support to immigrant children with school work and personal development.

Project dates:  01/01/2012 - 12/07/2012EIFAustria

Additional tools


Non-EU migrant

A non-EU national entering (or within) the EU.



A broader-term of an immigrant and emigrant, referring to a person who leaves one country or region to settle in ...



Comprises three main tasks: - supervision and responsibility for increasing the performance of others...



A dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by migrants and by the societies that receive them.



The action by which a person establishes his or her usual residence in the territory of an EU State for a period ...


European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals

A financial instrument for the period 2007 to 2013, which supports national and EU initiatives that facilitate the ...



The exercise of activities covering whatever form of labour or work regulated under national law or in accordance...


Country of origin

The country that is a source of migratory flows (regular or irregular).


Community actions

Transnational actions of interest to the EU as a whole. These are financed by the EU through the Funds in the ...


Basic act

Act of secondary law (regulation, directive or decision) laying down the objectives and conditions for budget ...



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