Policy brief: The promise of an EU approach to community sponsorship
This policy brief from the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) finds that if the EU were to provide a framework for reference and corresponding support tools for Member State community sponsorship initiatives, the effectiveness of such initiatives across Europe could be greatly improved.
According to the brief, community sponsorship offers solutions for 'increasing safe and legal ways of admitting refugees, fostering refugee integration and creating positive narratives surrounding migration'.
Community sponsorship enables individuals and communities to engage directly in welcoming and supporting refugees, in various ways. There is no set method for its implementation, but in general it involves action from private citizens, civil society organisations and local and national authorities to provide 'financial, practical and moral assistance to admit and integrate refugees'. Beneficiaries of community sponsorship are usually identified by UNHCR, but remain the legal responsibility of host governments.
According to the conclusions of the policy brief, refugees currently in need of resettlement far outnumber pledges made for resettlement by EU Member States. Additionally, enhanced integration outcomes for refugees are of key and increasing concern.
The brief finds that a coherent and successful common EU approach to community sponsorship could:
- encourage Member States to create community sponsorship schemes by offering various support measures to all stakeholders;
- lead to an increase in the number of beneficiaries in existing schemes;
- result in an expansion and diversification of complementary pathways;
- sound the beginning of the EU becoming a global leader in the expansion of such schemes, setting an example - through sharing experiences, tools and lessons learnt - for other major refugee-hosting countries.
Read the full 10-page brief here.