29 July 2020 / 134

Provide your feedback to the Commission

The European Commission has launched calls for:

  • An EU-wide public consultation asking all integration stakeholders to contribute to the creation of the next Action Plan on integration and inclusion. Take part by 21 October 2020.
  • call for applications for an expert group of persons with a migrant background to participate in the development and implementation of migration, asylum and integration policies. Apply by 21 September 2020.

Post-COVID recovery initiatives

On 1 July, the European Commission presented two proposals to the post-COVID-19 Recovery Plan for Europe which highlight the potential of people with a migrant background:

  • The Commission's European Skills Agenda calls for a more strategic approach to legal mi­gration, oriented towards better attracting and keeping talent. The EU Skills Agenda supports legally residing migrants to showcase their skills and qualifications and announces that the EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals will be linked to the new Europass.
  • The Commission has proposed a Council Recommendation on a Bridge to Jobs – reinforcing the Youth Guarantee, with the aim of reaching out to a wider target group, including young people with a migrant background, and of becoming more inclusive.

Upcoming Events

Prague – IOM Summer School on Migration Studies 2020

24/08/2020 08:00
(Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
The 12th IOM Prague Summer School on Migration Studies will be held at Charles University in Prague from 24th to 29th August 2020. IOM Prague has organised the Summer School every year since 2009, and more than 600 students and professionals from almost 100 countries have attended these…
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Stockholm - Swedish Integration Forum: Multicultural Neighborhoods

16/09/2020 09:15
(Bonnier Conference Center, Torsgatan 21, Stockholm, Sweden)
The Integration Forum in Sweden hosts a number of national conferences on different topics related to integration. This conference focuses on multicultural neighbourhoods. Among the lecturers are Susanne Urban,  Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor  at the  Institute for…
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3rd Conference of the German Network of Forced Migration Researchers

17/09/2020 13:00
The 3rd conference of the German Network of Forced Migration Researchers is taking place on 17-19 September 2020. Due to the current situation, the conference will take place online rather than at the premises of the University of Cologne. It will open an international forum to discuss current…
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Latest News

Latvia: Changes in residence permits rules due to COVID-19

On 21 July, the Latvian parliament adopted urgent amendments to the Law on the Management of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection, which allow to revoke already-issued or requested temporary residence permits and visas. This measure may be enforced if foreign nationals violate the rules of isolation, self-isolation, institutional or home quarantine, as well as other restrictions.

For example, if a holder of a temporary Latvian residence permit has arrived in Latvia and does not follow the mandatory self-isolation rule, their residence permit will be revoked. 

At the same time, the amendments also introduce a relaxation of the rules regarding leaving the country. Namely, absence from Latvia from the beginning of the state of emergency - 12 March 2020, and until 31 December 2020, will be regarded as permissible and justified. This measure comes to address the stipulations of the current Latvian immigration law under which permanent residence permits may be revoked or denied upon exceeding the permitted period of absence from Latvia. As a result, third-country nationals may be motivated to return to Latvia from high-risk countries only to comply with the residence permit rules.

The amendments follow an increase of new COVID-19 cases among persons who have recently returned or arrived from abroad.

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Migrant regularisation in Italy: a contested measure

In May, as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Italian government announced the regularisation of the status of migrants workers in the agriculture, fishing, care and domestic work sectors. Supporters of the regularisation argue that it improves the poor working and living conditions of migrant workers, which have become even more precarious during the pandemic.

The proposed measures immediately triggered condemnations from centre-right opposition parties, criticism inside the governmental coalition, as well as a debate among practitioners from the migrant reception and integration sector. 

One of the disputed aspects of the amendments concerns the 'sectoral' approach and the number of people allowed to regularise their status. Initially, two parties of the coalition government – the Democratic Party and Italia Viva – envisaged a larger regularisation since around 600 000 irregular migrants live in the country. They however encountered strong opposition from the Five Stars Movement, the main party in the coalition, who pushed for limiting access to regularisation for migrant workers that have previously worked in the agriculture, fishing, care and domestic work sectors.

These limitations, in turn, have been largely criticised since they discriminate among the workers in different sectors. Due to this, it is estimated that the regularisation would only involve about 200 000 migrants. Yet, many more are irregularly employed in other sectors such as in construction; they are neither less numerous nor better protected. In response, the Radical Party and several associations involved in the national campaign 'Ero straniero' proposed amendments which were however rejected

As a result, several concerns were expressed about the profit risks that employees and employers may face if the regularisation process fails. To address these risks, the GREI250, a reflection group on regularisation and inclusion, proposed in turn several amendments. In addition to overcoming the 'sectoral approach', the group suggests:

  1. to erase the time constraint according to which the regularisation is reserved to third-country nationals that have been in Italy without a valid residence permit since October 2019;
  2. to ensure applications are examined by the National Labour Inspectorate within a 60-day period.

Several actors have also questioned the procedures envisaged by the decree. According to the decree, migrants can request to regularise their status through two different procedures. The first procedure allows third-country nationals who have been in Italy without a valid residence permit since October 2019 to apply for a six-month residence permit in order to to look for a job. Matteo Villa, a researcher at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), questioned this approach, noting that irregular migrants might be apprehensive about revealing their status to obtain merely a six-month permit to find employment. In the second track, employers are allowed to apply to regularise their foreign and Italian workers by putting in place proper employment contracts. However, according to the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI), the latter would not be effective without the adoption of additional incentives, substantial interventions or supporting measures.

As of 1 July, 32 000 requests for regularisations have been submitted, with 91% of the examined requests filed by domestic workers.

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University of Malta: AMIF-funded Diploma in Education for Cultural Mediation

In implementation of Measure 7 of the Action Plan of the Government of Malta’s Integration = Belonging, Migrant Integration Strategy & Action Plan (Vision 2020) , the Human Rights Directorate within the Ministry for Justice, Equality and Governance and the University of Malta are offering a new course leading to the Diploma in Education for Cultural Mediation. The Diploma is being financed by the Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund. The course will begin in October 2020. The course will be free of charge to eligible candidates as it is sponsored by the Ministry for Justice, Equality and Governance and supported by the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

The two-year part-time course will train professionals in facilitating the relations between migrants and locals, aiming at the mutual exchange of knowledge and the establishment of positive relations between individuals of different backgrounds. Cultural mediation facilitates the establishment of good communication and mutual understanding between different cultures as well as the promotion of access to local services such as reception, health, education and employment.

The course is open to both Maltese and non-Maltese citizens. Applicants must prove that they have resided in Malta for a minimum of 8 years and proficiency in Maltese and English is mandatory. Candidates must also possess native or near-to-native competence in at least a third language.

Further information about the course programme and eligibility requirements can be found here.

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Czech Republiuc: Unmarried partners of Czech citizens allowed back following COVID-19 ban

As of July 20, third-country nationals who are the unmarried partners of Czech citizens are allowed to enter Czech territory again. The country is changing the rules of entry for unmarried partners of Czech citizens who have been separated by the previous travel ban introduced amid the COVID-19 in mid-March.

The decision was announced by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs which removed the temporary restrictive measures following the example of Denmark and Austria.

In order for international couples to reunite, they must submit a declaration of their long-term relationship to the foreign ministry, and must also be able to provide proof of their relationship such as joint lease agreements, joint bank accounts or children's birth certificates.

Entry requests will be processed electronically by the foreign ministry, which in turn should confirm that the foreign partner is allowed to enter the Czech Republic within three days. The Czech citizen will forward this confirmation to their partner, who will in turn be able to provide it upon entering the Czech Republic.

Read more in Czech. 

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France. Des francais plus tolérants ?

Un peu moins de la moitié des Français sont d’accord avec l’affirmation selon laquelle "il y a trop d’immigrés en France", selon les données 2020 de la Sofres. Voilà un chiffre sur lequel s’appuient de nombreux discours politique aujourd’hui. Pourtant, il ne signifie pas grand-chose. Et les Français sont de moins en moins nombreux à le penser.

En matière d’opinion, les évolutions sur le long terme ont bien plus d’intérêt que la photo du moment. La Sofres réalise depuis 2000 un "baromètre d’image du Front national" dans lequel cette question est posée. Mis bout à bout, les sondages de la Sofres font apparaître une baisse de la part des Français qui sont "plutôt" ou "tout à fait d’accord" avec l’affirmation "il y a trop d’immigrés" ! Nous sommes passés de 60 % au début des années 2000 à 46 % en 2020. La réduction a surtout eu lieu à la fin des années 2000. Après une remontée entre 2010 et 2013, on a assisté à une nouvelle décrue.

Pour vérifier cette évolution, le Centre d’observation de la société a rassemblé les résultats de deux enquêtes supplémentaires, celle de la Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme (CNCDH) et celle du Centre d’études de la vie politique française (Cevipof), disponibles pour les dix dernières années. Elles confirment la même évolution : une montée de la part de la population hostile à la présence d’immigrés au début des années 2010 suivi d’une diminution dans les années récentes (à partir de 2014). Les attentats de 2015 n’y ont rien changé. Les crises migratoires autour de la Méditerranée semblent davantage provoquer de la compassion que de tensions dans l’opinion.

Enfin, l’évolution est encore plus nette si l’on se concentre sur la seule réponse qui a vraiment du sens, la part de ceux qui se disent « tout à fait » d’accord avec la thèse selon laquelle il y aurait trop d’immigrés. Cette part a été quasiment divisée par deux entre le milieu des années 1990 et le milieu des années 2000, de 50 % à 25 %. Dans les années récentes, elle s’est réduite de 28 % à 18 % entre 2016 et 2020. Enfin, d’autres enquêtes montrent que les Français sont beaucoup plus tolérants vis-à-vis des personnes d’origine étrangère qu’on ne le dit, et cette tolérance s’accroît.

Dans un sondage réalisé en 2019, dans le cadre du rapport de la CNCDH, à la question "êtes-vous raciste vous-même ?", 60 % de la population indique "pas du tout", proportion qui fluctue entre 40 % et 50 % depuis le début des années 2000 et qui a nettement augmenté de 2013 à 2019. La part de ceux qui répondent "un peu" ou "plutôt" raciste a peu changé entre 2002 et 2013, autour de 25 %-30 %, et elle a nettement diminué depuis 2013 pour atteindre 18 % en 2019.

Selon la CNCDH, la part des personnes "plutôt" ou "tout à fait" d’accord avec l’affirmation "l’immigration est une source d’enrichissement culturel" est passée de 50 % au milieu des années 1990 à 70 % en 2002 et elle oscille autour de ce chiffre depuis (69 % en 2019). La part de personnes qui estiment qu’il existe des "races supérieures à d’autres" est quasiment constante depuis 2002, autour de 10 % (6 % en 2019). La proportion de celles qui pensent que "toutes les races se valent" a baissé légèrement entre la fin des années 2000 et le début des années 2010 et atteint 56 % en 2019. Le pourcentage de ceux qui pensent que les races n’existent pas a plus que doublé entre 2002 et 2019, de 16 % à 36 %.

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Portugal: More multilingual information on Covid-19 for migrants

The evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic led the Portuguese government to issue different measures according to the situation of each region. Accordingly, three groups of regions were defined, with distinct measures to be followed. The first group, with stricter measures (situation of calamity), is composed of 19 civil parishes of the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon. The second group includes the rest of the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon (contingency situation), and the third group (alert situation) involves the rest of the continental territory.

In order to reach out to a wide variety of migrants, the High Commission for Migration issued information in eight languages besides Portuguese, including Arabic, Bengali, English, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Nepalese, Romanian and Russian.

The information was initially defined for the period between 1 July to 14 July, but the assessment of the situation led the government to prolong it until 28 July, when a new assessment of the evolution of new cases will be made.

The information is organised in a table for each language (Table of the COVID-19 Mitigation Measures) which is available on the High Commission for Migration's website.

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Integration Practices Recently Uploaded

Migrant Entrepreneurship Support in Portugal: GAEM Project

The High Commission for Migration (ACM, IP) has been developing entrepreneurship support initiatives since 2006 through the National Immigrant Support Centres or projects in partnership with other institutions. In 2015, the High Commission for Migration reinforced its support to migrants and…
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The Settle in Estonia Programme

The Settle in Estonia Programme is a free educational programme provided by the Estonian state to help the newly arrived migrants in Estonia to adapt and become accustomed to local life more easily. The programme, which comprises various training courses, gives an overview of how the state of…
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Slovenia: The Challenges of Intercultural Coexistence

The main goal of the project is to help develop the values ​​of interculturalism and improve the professional competences of education managers and professionals for a more successful integration of immigrant children into the Slovenian educational system. As such, the project seeks to ensure…
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Prollema – Empowering young migrants to teach their mother tongue

Responding to the increasing arrivals of unaccompanied minors in Spain, the Prollema project offers language and teaching training to young migrants that suffer from critical situations (e.g. homelessness, unemployment, lack of educational opportunities). The project enables the participants to…
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ENTRYWAY- Entrepreneurship Without Borders

The Entrepreneurship Without Borders (EntryWay) project supports third-country nationals that are willing to start their own businesses and legally reside in seven provinces of five European countries, including Greece. Through the provision of tailored entrepreneurship training and the…
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HELIOS Project

Implemented in temporary accommodation centres throughout the country, IOM Greece's Hellenic Integration Support for Beneficiaries of International Protection (HELIOS) project supports and promotes the integration of beneficiaries of international protection by providing: integration courses;…
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Latest Funding Information

Czech Republic: Call for proposals to operate regional integration centres

The Czech Interior Ministry has announced the 28th open call for proposals within the framework of its National Programme of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

The Ministry is accepting proposals aiming to operate regional integration centres for third country nationals in the regions of Ústí nad Labem, Hradec Králové, South Moravia and in the City of Prague in the 2021-22 period.

The regional integration centres make up the pivotal fundament of Czech regional integration infrastructure as defined in the national integration strategy.  

The integration centre must provide the following activities:

  • Information for foreigners and the majority population (including public administration bodies) free of charge.
  • Free social and legal counselling.
  • Czech language, socio-cultural courses and 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 foreigners’ integration.

The call is open to private and non-governmental actors, as well as local and regional authorities. The total allocation provided is 95,000,000 CZK (approximately 3,620,000 EUR). 

The deadline to submit applications is 15 September 2020.

Further information is provided in Czech through the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

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Luxembourg: Appel à projets AMIF

L'Office national de l'accueil (ONA) et le Département de l'intégration du ministère de la Famille, de l'Intégration et à la Grande Région lancent ensemble un appel à projets dans le cadre du Fonds européen "Asile, Migration et Intégration" (AMIF 2014-2020).

Le présent appel s'adresse aux organisations et organismes privés sans but lucratif, aux établissements publics, aux chambres professionnelles ainsi qu'aux centres de recherche et vise le financement de projets dans les domaines suivants:

  • La promotion de la santé maternelle et infantile;
  • La promotion de la santé et de l'hygiène de vie en communauté dans les structures d'hébergement pour demandeurs de protection internationale;
  • La réalisation d'études et d'analyses des besoins des ressortissants de pays tiers résidant au Luxembourg en matière d'intégration;
  • La réalisation d'études sur la participation des ressortissants de pays tiers à la vie associative au Luxembourg et sur le rôle et les caractéristiques des associations pour une intégration réussie des ressortissants de pays tiers au Luxembourg.

L'appel prévoit le financement de projets à partir d'un montant de 50.000 euros par projet, avec un budget global de 740.000 euros.

Seuls les projets qui seront réalisés entre le 1er janvier 2021 et le 30 juin 2022 sont éligibles.

La date limite pour la soumission des demandes de financement de projets est fixée au 19 août 2020.

Les détails de l'appel à projets ainsi que les formulaires peuvent être consultés sur le site internet de l'ONA.

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Active Citizens Fund Romania: 100% grant rate for open call #4 Awareness on Human Rights and Equal Treatment

On 4 June 2020, the grant operators of Active Citizens Fund (EEA and Norway grants 2014 – 2021) in Romania decided to increase the grant rate from 90% to 100% of the total eligible costs of the project. It applies to the three calls currently open for small and rapid response grants, namely #1, #4 and #6.

Out of the three calls, #4 on awareness on human rights and equal treatment is of a particular interest from an integration perspective. The call covers two areas of support under the Active Citizens Fund in Romania: Human rights and equal treatment through combating any discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity and Gender equality and gender-based violence.

Under the #4 call, the application is ongoing for two types of grants: small and rapid response grants. The small grants are dedicated to NGOs with a yearly budget up to € 51,000. The proposals have to enhance the awareness on human rights/equal treatment in underserved areas or for underserved groups (among others, refugees and migrants). The aim is to encourage NGOs and individuals to report and challenge discrimination in various life contexts (work, school, health facilities etc.). Two evaluation deadlines apply to the small grants: 11 November 2020 and 30 June 2021.

For the rapid response grants, the NGO applicants have no restrictions related to their budget or underserved operating area. However, the proposals have to respond to an emerging situation (either threat or opportunity) related to human rights that requires immediate action.

Both type of grants are limited to € 15,000 for a project duration from 3 to 6 months which can be extended in the case of small grants up to 18 months.

Further information about the open call can be found on their website.

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Bulgaria: Active Citizens Fund offers anti-crisis funding related to COVID-19

The Bulgarian Operator of the Active Citizens Fund announced a new call for project proposals to respond to the negative effects caused by COVID-19. This measure is part of the Small Initiative Scheme of the fund and it aims to support the activities and capacity of civil society organisations so that they can recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Eligible organisations can submit project proposals in the six thematic priorities of the program:

  • Strengthening democratic culture and civic awareness;
  • Increasing support for human rights;
  • Empowering vulnerable groups;
  • Addressing gender equality and gender-based violence (GBV);
  • Increasing civic engagement in environmental protection/climate change;
  • Enhancing capacity and sustainability of the civil society sector

Applicants can receive up to 100% grant funding for their projects, with the maximum grant per one project set at 10 000 euro.

The deadline for submitting project proposals is 10 September 2020, 17:00 h local time.

All details and requirements in connection with the submission of project proposals under the measure can be found in the Guidelines for Applicants.

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Latest Documents

ETUC resolution for the integration of migrants and the consolidation of the UnionMigrantNet

Adopted at the Executive Committee Meeting of 2-3 July 2020 Summary By means of this resolution, ETUC takes a further stand for the protection of migrants’ rights and their integration in Europe and beyond. It aims at a further consolidation of the UnionMigrantNet (UMN) as the European…
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EMN Study on Pathways to Citizenship in the EU

How have national policies evolved over the past five years in relation to the acquisition of citizenship? What are the criteria and procedures in place, and how costly and long is the process? What type of support do Member States provide to third-country nationals wishing to acquire…
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France. Des enquêtes pour mieux connaître les primo-arrivants

Le contexte qui prévaut en Europe depuis 2015 accroît les besoins d’information statistique sur les primo-arrivants et les dispositifs d’accompagnement. En France, l’ Enquête Longitudinale sur l’Intégration des Primo-Arrivants (personnes admises…
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Report: an inquiry into the handling of residence permit applications by the Foreigners’ Police Service in Slovakia

The Public Defender of Rights carried out an inquiry into the handling of residence permit applications at all Border and Foreigners’ Police Departments (BFPDs) in Slovakia. The inquiry was carried out in October and November 2019 by members of an inquiry team set up by the Office of the…
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