18 January 2019 / 110

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019! 

EU Highlights

Are countries ready to help refugees?

While refugee inflows to European countries have declined since the 2015-2016 peak, the experience of managing a sudden increase in the refugee population offers lessons for handling major migration flows in the future. This new OECD report examines how to create resilient systems for the reception and integration of large refugee inflows and points out areas where countries still need to improve.

Protecting children in migration

Refugee and migrant children often lack access to information presented in an age-appropriate manner, creating more confusion and anxiety for this vulnerable group. To help ensure that children are protected and have access to their rights, the Council of Europe has published a new guide for professionals and volunteers on child-friendly communication.

Upcoming Events

Brussels – ECRE/UNHCR Launch Event – Follow the Money Report II

31/01/2019 09:30
(L42 Business Center, Rue de la Loi 42, 1040 Brussels, Belgium)
UNHCR and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) invite interested parties to the launch of the Follow the Money II report, which looks at the use of money from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) at the national level. This report analyses the use of AMIF funding…
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Brussels – ORAMMA Project Final Event

28/02/2019 10:30
(Maastricht University Campus Brussels, Avenue de Tervuren 153, 1150 Brussels, Belgium)
The ORAMMA Project has developed an approach to healthcare for migrant and refugee women. On 28 February 2018, the project will host an event that allows attendees to hear about the work done, find out about the results of the feasibility study, and help the project think about its next steps.…
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Porto - International Conference on Interculturalism and Multiculturalism

28/03/2019 09:00
(Centre for Intercultural Studies Office 333 Rua Jaime Lopes Amorim, s/n 4465-004 São Mamede de Infesta Portugal)
Registration is now open for the 2019 International Conference on Interculturalism and Multiculturalism. The Conference organised by the Centre for Intercultural Studies of the Oporto Polytechnic Institute will take place on 28, 29 and 30 March 2019 in Porto and will be divided into…
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Bari, Italy – The Migration Conference 2019

18/06/2019 08:30
(The Department of Political Science at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy)
The seventh edition of The Migration Conference will be held in Bari, Italy from 18 to 20 June 2019. The conference provides an opportunity for an interdisciplinary discussion among experts, young researchers and students, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of migration. This…
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Latest News

Italian mayors meet with Conte on Security Decree

On 14 January 2019, a delegation of Italian mayors from the National Association of Municipalities (ANCI) met with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. During the meeting, the mayors underlined four problems with the implementation of the controversial Salvini Security Decree, issued 24 September 2018. They put forward the four following proposals:

1) Allow municipalities to stay informed about the number, age, and sex of guests in reception centres.

The Salvini Security Decree established that asylum seekers do not have the right to enrol in municipal registry offices. Consequently, mayors will not be informed about the number of asylum seekers present in their territory. They ask to be informed in order to be able to plan their activities.

2) Standardise the procedures of local health authorities regarding asylum seekers.

The Italian National Health System is not a single administration but a set of national and regional entities. Thus, there may be differences in the way local health authorities provide services. The mayors ask for a guarantee that local health authorities will take charge of asylum seekers even if asylum seekers do not have the right to enrol in municipal registry offices.

3) Ensure access to the SPRAR system for vulnerable people.

There are two systems in Italy for the reception and integration of asylum seekers. The first is known as SPRAR—a system of reception and integration programmes managed by municipalities with funding from the interior ministry. The second system is that of the Extraordinary Reception Centres (CAS) coordinated by prefectures, which have made headlines for their dysfunctional nature. The Salvini Security Decree has downsized the SPRAR system, and only people with refugee status and unaccompanied minors will be allowed to access it.

Previously, women with children and people with psychiatric problems were hosted in SPRAR accommodations. This was because the SPRAR reception centres are smaller and more suitable for these groups of migrants. The mayors ask to maintain this practice.

4) Ensure a complete reimbursement of expenses for unaccompanied minors.

The mayors asked that more resources be provided for unaccompanied minors.

The Prime Minister endorsed the proposals and affirmed that the government will approve implementation rules to clarify the issues raised by the mayors. Read more

By Gaia Testore (FIERI)

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Biggest Czech carmaker establishes €30 million fund for local integration and development

Škoda Auto, a subsidiary of Germany’s Volkswagen Group, has launched a three-year, 30 million regional development and integration programme titled Nové Boleslavsko (New Boleslav). The programme aims to make Mladá Boleslav, the seat of its corporate headquarters in central Bohemia, a more attractive place to live. In the Czech context, this programme represents a unique initiative implemented by a company to support both regional development and integration measures.

Škoda Auto employs around 30,000 people in its three manufacturing plants in the Czech Republic. Like other companies, Škoda has been dealing with the chronic labour shortage in the country and therefore actively recruits workers from abroad—for example, from Ukraine through the government’s Ukraine Project scheme.

Due to this intense recruitment, many long-term residents of Mladá Boleslav from the majority population complain about increasing problems with foreign workers, like the spread of unattractive dormitories for the workers, declining safety, or inadequate infrastructure. The increased presence of foreign workers became one of the important debates in recent local elections, when some candidates attempted to misuse it for political gains.

The Nové Boleslavsko programme thus aims to address these problems by supporting projects to develop housing for vulnerable groups, involving residents (both locals and foreign workers) in the life of the community, expanding leisure activities, strengthening the sense of security, increasing the quality and capacity of healthcare facilities and other infrastructure, as well as supporting cultural and educational initiatives.

Read more (in English)

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First integration centre operated by a Slovakian municipality to open in Nitra

The Municipality of Nitra approved in December 2018 the establishment of a local integration centre for economic migrants. This will be the first integration centre in Slovakia to be operated by a municipality. The goal of the centre is to create conditions for the successful integration of newly arrived economic migrants into daily life and local society.

The new integration centre, which is scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2019, will provide migrants in Nitra with guidance and information according to their needs and in various languages, e.g. information about public transportation, contacts for medical specialists and integration programmes, information about accommodations, etc.  The vision of the municipality is to avoid ghettoisation and to support social cohesion and integration in the city.

Nitra has experienced a continuous increase in the number of economic migrants due to the fast development of the economy and industry in and around the municipality. Economic migrants in the area are attracted mainly by work in the automotive industry or other production sectors. Thus far, integration centres in Slovakia have been run by NGOs/IGOs and financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the state budget (Migration Information Centres operated by IOM Slovakia) or financed by private donors or crowdfunding (Community Centre Mareena).

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Local Integration Charter launched in Malta

On 14th December 2019, the Maltese Ministry for European Affairs and Equality launched the Local Integration Charter at the first Annual Integration Conference. The Charter addresses tensions related to social cohesion and presents community dialogue as a tool in addressing these tensions. The Charter will be implemented by the Integration Unit of the Human Rights and Integration Directorate (HRID), the Local Councils Association, and participating local councils.

This comes one year after the government launched its first Migrant Integration Strategy and Action Plan. The creation of the Charter was foreseen in the Action Plan as a measure to consolidate existing integration initiatives and activities carried out by local councils and to encourage further cooperation, noting the increasingly diverse communities in various Maltese localities.

The Charter is a tool for Local Councils to support each other and respond to the integration needs of residents. The principles of the Charter are:

  • Inclusive discourse and the promotion of diversity
  • Fostering a climate and opportunities for dialogue at the local level
  • Hosting events to bring communities together
  • Involvement and participation of migrant communities at the local level
  • Voluntary participation in integration projects

The Charter also foresees the appointment of one of the councillors in each locality as a focal point in the implementation of the Charter and other aspects of integration, who will work closely with the Community Integration Officer of the HRID. A mapping exercise will be carried out in participating localities to assess the integration measures in place and the profile of those residing there. Dedicated meetings between the Local Council, residents, and members of migrant communities will take place to discuss integration matters. Moreover, the HRID and migrant communities will assist with informing residents and providing translation of important notices on local matters such as waste disposal.

The Local Councils Association will appoint a committee to monitor the implementation of the Charter. The first signatories of the Local Integration Charter are Cospicua, Msida, Mtarfa, Pembroke, Sliema, San Pawl il-Bahar and Birkirkara.

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Greek government announces labour market support for refugees

The Greek Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity recently announced upcoming actions for the protection of rights of refugees, immigrants, and unaccompanied minors. The actions focus on issues related to labour market integration and protection of labour rights.

The Ministry of Labour will, for the first time, implement a programme of vocational training, certification of skills, and job search for 3,000 unemployed refugees in high-demand sectors in the regions of Attica and Central Macedonia. The aim of the programme is to help refugees acquire technical skills that they can use to integrate into the labour market.

Additionally, the Labour Inspectorate is part of the National Plan for Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings 2018-2023, which will implement actions that concern education, the legislative framework, and participation in awareness-raising actions, in addition to strengthening audit work in the field. The Inspectorate will also move forward on the ratification of the International Labour Organization Convention 129 on labour inspection in the agricultural sector.

Previously, the Manpower Employment Organisation in Greece (OAED) modified the conditions to register as unemployed. This facilitated entry in OAED’s registers by migrants and refugees who hold residence permits but are unable to register a permanent address or who are staying in temporary accommodation facilities.

Besides work in the area of labour market integration, the Ministry of Labour has also been active on the protection of unaccompanied minors. Law No. 4554 of 18 July 2018 placed unaccompanied minors under the protection of the Greek state, and they are now assigned professional guardians. The Ministry has also renovated buildings with a total capacity of 800 people for the accommodation of unaccompanied minors and refugee families. This was done in cooperation with the Ministry of National Defence.

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New immigration and integration regulations now in force in Lithuania

Several recent amendments to regulations on immigration and integration in Lithuania have come into force as of 1 January 2019. At the end of December, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour adopted the most important document regulating migrant integration in Lithuania—the Action Plan for Integration of Foreigners in Lithuanian Society 2018-2020.

The Action Plan sets out integration indicator targets, the funding available for integration, and the institutions that implement integration measures. The main aim of the Action Plan is to strengthen migrant integration policies in Lithuania through measures targeting:

  • Institutional cooperation
  • Evaluation and monitoring
  • Employment and education
  • Migrant women integration and social services
  • Links with host society
  • Non-discrimination
  • Public attitudes

In addition to the adoption of the Action Plan, the Employment Service of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour approved the list of occupations with labour shortages for the first half of 2019. Third-country nationals whose professions are included in the list of occupations can obtain visas and residence permits under a simplified procedure.

Finally, new amendments to the Law on Legal Status of Aliens have also come into force. The amendments define the conditions for issuing temporary residence permits to professional athletes or coaches coming to Lithuania for sport-related activities.

See the Action Plan

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Integration Practices Recently Uploaded

Kitchen on the Run

Kitchen on the Run ist ein Projekt des Berliner Vereins Über den Tellerrand e.V. Mit einer mobilen Küche, eingebaut in einen Schiffscontainer, reist das Projektteam seit 2016 durch Deutschland und Europa und fördert den persönlichen Austausch zwischen Menschen mit und ohne…
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InFusion (Infusão)

The InFusion (InFusão) project is a platform to facilitate the participation of Third-Country Nationals (TCNs) in the process of integration, using a multilevel approach. The project is focused on the areas of health, education, and employability. InFusion intends to create local…
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Children, parents and teachers against hate speech and discrimination

For the project ‘Children, parents and teachers against hate speech and discrimination’, a working group of primary school teachers and experts developed a new method to teach topics from the official school curriculum while incorporating the principles of tolerance, acceptance of…
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Christmas Eve Without Borders – Wigilia bez Granic

Christmas Eve Without Borders allows Polish families and foreign residents to celebrate Christmas Eve together. The project finds Polish families who want to invite foreign residents in Poland for Christmas Eve supper in their homes and matches them with foreign residents who want to accept such…
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Latest Funding Information

Europe: €16.2 million AMIF call for proposals to support integration of third-country nationals

The European Commission has opened for proposals a total of €16.2 million to support the integration of third-country nationals. The available funding comes from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), which supports actions promoting the efficient management of migration flows and the implementation, strengthening and development of a common EU approach to asylum and immigration.

For this funding opportunity, the Commission sets out five priority areas related to the integration of third-country nationals:

1) Local and regional integration networks

Considering the crucial role of local and regional authorities in the integration of third-country nationals, the Commission aims to promote the exchange of knowledge, practices and experiences among local and regional authorities across Member States. Proposals under this priority should focus on the development and/or creation of networks among local and regional authorities working on integration of third-country nationals. In particular, the networks should include both local/regional authorities that have little or no experience with integration and authorities that do have experience with the development of integration policies and measures. Activities funded under this priority include, for example, trainings and workshops to share knowledge on integration, creation of platforms to transfer knowledge and best practices and local awareness-raising activities to facilitate integration.

2) Legal migration projects with third countries

Proposals under this priority should promote specific labour and training-related migration pathways with third countries. Furthermore, in order to promote a better match between the skills and demands in the EU labour market, the proposed activities should involve economic and social partners, such as employers, chambers of commerce, educational institutions, trade unions, civil society, etc. Activities funded under this priority could include, for example, analyses regarding how to establish/facilitate mobility between EU Member States and third countries, support for third-country national workers during the pre-departure phase and upon arrival (e.g. language training, workplace mentoring, cultural mediation, etc.), and support during the re-integration phase.

3) Support to victims of trafficking in human beings

Activities funded under this priority should promote the integration of third-country national victims of trafficking in their host countries. Proposed actions should address the specific challenges and needs of trafficking victims and take into account the gender-specific nature of trafficking. Funded activities could include efforts geared towards the early identification of victims, assistance and support to victims (especially taking into account gender, age and forms of exploitation), safe and sustainable voluntary return and reintegration, durable solutions for child victims, measures to prevent re-trafficking, transnational cooperation in supporting victims, education and training, etc.

4) Care for migrant minors, including unaccompanied minors

This priority will fund care services to support unaccompanied refugee and migrant minors in Europe. More specifically, these projects should focus on training, logistical support and exchange of good practices to expand, implement and/or improve alternative care systems for unaccompanied minors, such as foster care, family-based care and accommodation in independent housing (as opposed to accommodation in detention). Projects with a focus exclusively at the national/regional/local levels should seek AMIF funding through the National Programmes instead. In addition, certain projects are not eligible for funding under this call, including institutionalised care systems, operating costs for alternative care systems (cost of staff, buildings, etc.) and research on alternative care systems. Furthermore, the application must involve at least one public authority in the country where the alternative care programme is being implemented.

5) Engagement of diaspora communities on awareness raising

Because migrants often rely on migration-related information obtained from members of the diaspora community living in EU Member States, and due to the unreliability of these information sources, irregular migrants often encounter significant difficulties and risks during transit. This priority therefore seeks to engage with diaspora communities in the EU to raise awareness of the risks of smuggling and irregular migration, as well as the possibilities for voluntary return and re-integration. Activities funded under this priority could include research on engaging and communicating with diaspora communities, awareness-raising activities and project monitoring and evaluation. Eligible applications will focus on diaspora communities from one of the following countries: Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria. Each application should target a single diaspora community, and the involvement of diaspora organisations is a key element of this priority.

The deadline for this call is 31 January 2019.

Further details on application requirements, as well as the online application submission service, are available at the Commission's Participant Portal.


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Czech government calls for proposals to operate regional integration centres

The Czech Interior Ministry has announced the 20th open call for proposals within the framework of its National Programme of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The Ministry is accepting proposals to operate regional integration centres for third-country nationals in the Czech Republic, with exception of the integration centre in the Central Bohemian region.

Regional integration centres are fundamental to the Czech regional integration infrastructure, as defined in the national integration strategy. For this call, the integration centres must provide the following activities:

  • Free information for both Czech and foreign nationals
  • Free social and legal counselling
  • Czech language and socio-cultural courses
  • Interpretation services
  • Intercultural dialogue, awareness-raising campaigns, and cultural events
  • Field social work and monitoring of new developments concerning the target group
  • Organisation of a regional platform of actors in the field of migrant integration

The call is open to regional authorities, state organisations, and non-governmental actors. The deadline to submit proposals is 11 March 2019. Total allocation under this call is 90,000,000 Kč (approximately 3,521,000 €).

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Czech Ministry of Interior offers funding to municipalities and civil society

The Czech Ministry of Interior is announcing two calls for funding applications for projects assisting immigrants in their integration journey. The first funding opportunity targets local authorities looking to address integration issues, while the second is meant for civil society organisations working with migrants.


Call for municipalities

This call will support activities including:

  • Czech language courses
  • Integration support in elementary schools and nurseries
  • Integration activities and events
  • Support for interpreters and assistant teachers
  • Local analysis of immigrants
  • Socio-cultural seminars
  • Social work
  • Training on integration for public administration clerks
  • Production of information materials for foreigners and the broader public

The deadline for applications is 10th February 2019.

More information is available


Call for NGOs and research institutions

This call will support activities including:

  • Direct assistance to foreigners
  • Social work and education of social workers who work ‘on the street’
  • Training for public administration clerks
  • Pre-departure information, adaptation, and integration courses
  • Integration activities based on an initiative of foreigners
  • Research on the social status of immigrants, and women in particular
  • Research on integration indicators
  • Informing the general public on integration of foreigners

The deadline for applications is 11th February 2019.

More information is available

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Funding opportunity for migrant associations in Portugal

Applications for funding through the 2019 PAAI (Immigrant Associations Support Programme) will be accepted until 31 January 2019. The goals of the 2019 PAAI are to promote integration and equal opportunities for migrants in their access to basic services in Portugal, and to contribute to a change of mentality and promote intercultural dialogue between migrant communities and the host society.

The funding rate will be 70% of the total eligible cost of each approved project, with a maximum amount of € 10,000. The total amount available through this bid will be € 200,000. The funding opportunity prioritises three areas of intervention:

  • Welcome and integration
  • Strengthening diversity
  • Recognised merit

Only associations of immigrants whose representativeness is recognised by the High Commission for Migration are eligible to apply for funding. Each entity can only submit one application. The applications must be submitted online through the SIGAF Platform (Integrated Financial Management System), where associations can access the Support Programme and necessary documentation.

Find out more

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Latest Documents

Indicators of immigrant integration 2018 - Annual statistical report

The Observatory for Migration has published the 2018 statistical report on the integration of immigrants in Portugal. The report is composed of 15 thematic chapters ranging from demographic trends to the labour market, health, education, and social security, to name a few. Demographics In 2017,…
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Foreigners in the Czech Republic 2018

This is the eighteenth publication in the series ‘Foreigners in the Czech Republic’ published by the Czech Statistical Office. The publication compiles extensive, updated statistics on foreigners who have chosen the Czech Republic to be the place of their permanent or long-term…
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News of Closing - Sixth Report of Carta di Roma 2018

Where does the public get their ideas about immigration? The main source is the news media. Thus, this December 2018 report by the Association Carta di Roma looks at trends in how print and television news sources use language when discussing migration. The report is the sixth edition of an…
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Integration von Kindern und Jugendlichen mit Migrationshintergrund

Eine neue Studie des Instituts der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) Köln belegt, dass Kinder mit einem Migrationshintergrund in Deutschland deutlich schlechtere Arbeits- und Einkommensperspektiven haben als solche ohne Migrationsgeschichte. So lag der Anteil der Erwerbstätigen bei den 25- bis…
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How to learn together? Combined high school students’ values, attitudes and coping strategies in a multilingual and multicultural school

The first study of students in Estonian-Russian combined high schools reveals that the drop-out rate in these schools is low, high learning motivation helps to overcome difficulties concerning languages and cultural differences, and the cultural identity of the students entrenches rather than…
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