The 12th meeting of the Partnership started off with a presentation of the OECD report “Working Together for the Integration of Migrants and Refugees” which showcases the results of a study carried out on 72 European cities and presents a Checklist for public action to migrant integration at the local level. The participants proposed to organise a follow-up meeting involving local representatives. The Partnership Coordinators and the OECD are to discuss the feasibility of this proposition.
Discussing the European Commission proposal for the funding for integration for the next programming period, participants asked to ensure the involvement of the local level in all phases of the process. With the regards to the current financing period, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, DG HOME, is working towards strengthening the partnership principle in the use of the funds and ensuring stronger exchange and cooperation between managing authorities in the implementation stage. An event to address these issues is planned for next year.
The second edition of the Urban Academy on Integration will take place in May 2019, with main topics being labour market and social inclusion. Participants have suggested gender and the issue of irregularity as possible additional topics. Furthermore, the City of Barcelona proposed to include the prevention of xenophobia in the social inclusion topic.
The Members of the Partnership decided that, given the high relevance of the topic in light of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament, the partnership would develop a dedicated communication plan for the consultation carried out by the European Migrant Advisory Board among refugees and other migrants in European cities. A working group composed of the City of Amsterdam, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and DG HOME will ensure the sustainability of the Board.
The group discussed the recommendations for children in migration and proposed some changes to the current draft of the paper. Furthermore, a presentation was given on microfinance for migrants entrepreneurs and how the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) can support migrants and refugees. Building on this presentation, it was agreed to create a five-city scheme with the European Investment Fund (EIF) which could help identify the financial intermediates in the five cities.
Discussion about the possible prolongation of the Partnership resulted in general support among the participants. A working group to work out the strategy concerning the evaluation of the Partnership and its future after 2019, will be set up by the Coordinators, the City of Amsterdam and DG HOME.
The next Partnership meeting is scheduled for 15 November 2018 in Lisbon and will discuss the Partnership’s Final Conference to take place on 4 December 2018 in Brussels.
For questions on the Partnership or on any of the actions, please contact one of the Coordinators, Sabina Kekic (City of Amsterdam, firstname.lastname@example.org), directly or get in touch with the Urban Agenda for the EU Communications Team (UA.email@example.com).
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