30 June 2020 / 132

EU Highlights

We are continuing to update responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and their effects on migrant communities across Europe - from new policy measures and outreach activities to funding opportunities. See the latest updates here

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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Leading Resilience (in Arabic)

22/07/2020 14:00
(Online event)
New Women Connectors (NWC) is an open platform that strives to connect newcomers and migrants, link migration policies debates and amplify the voices of those who often feel voiceless in these debates. Envisioned, created, and led by migrant & refugee women, NWC focuses on ensuring all…
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Latest News

European Parliament adopts an anti-racism resolution

On 17 June 2020, the European Parliament held a debate with a resolution titled “The anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd”. On 19 June 2020, Members of the European Parliament voted in favour and adopted the resolution responding to structural racism in the USA and Europe, also saluted for condemning slavery as a crime against humanity.

The Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup Presidents’ and Members’ proposals aimed at strengthening both anti-racist narratives and actions, while addressing manifestations of structural racism in the USA and in Europe, including police brutality.

Evin Incir, a Swedish MEP, ARDI Co-Chair and the shadow rapporteur for the Socialists and Democrats described the passing of the anti-racism resolution today as “a victory for all of us who have experienced and been exposed to structural racism and discrimination”, but also as “a win for anyone who believes in democratic and equal societies”. This resolution contains several concrete proposals, including to arrange an EU Summit and create strong anti-racism policies at both the EU and Member States level, she explained and called it “a big step forward in the fight against racism”.

Monica Silvana Gonzalez, her fellow Socialist and Democrat from Spain and ARDI Co-Chair said that “police brutality resulted in death of George Floyd finally was a wake-up call for the EP and pointed out that Members of the European Parliament raised their voices against structural inequalities, injustice and violence. “We fought to respond to demands of racial justice advocates and we fought to reinforce the anti-discrimination legislation frameworks, such as blocked and long-awaited Equal Treatment Directive”, MEP Gonzalez emphasized.

Younous Omarjee, a French MEP and ARDI Co-Chair from GUE/NGL expressed that he is “proud to have been followed by MEPs in the declaration by the European parliament to solemnly condemn slavery as a crime against humanity”. “It is a symbolic act which must be concretized by the best appropriation of history to combat racism”, affirmed MEP Omarjee.

Cornelia Ernsta German MEP, ARDI Co-Chair from GUE/NGL focused on an urgent need to apply the EP legislative work in practice. This is a good start, but where we go from here is much more important. We want to see the Commission now implementing the proposals, we want to see the money being spent to address structural racism, we must see them preventing racist institutions from benefiting from EU funds, we must see police officers being properly punished for their brutality”, she listed some of the proposals and added that they “must reach the ground and be pushed forward by many actors at all levels”. “This is difficult to achieve. But we have no luxury to stop our fight. On the contrary, we have to intensify it now”, MEP Ernst concluded.

Peter Pollakan MEP from Slovakia and ARDI Vice-Chair from European People’s Party emphasized: “Everything starts with recognition, only then solutions could be found. Today´s adoption of the EP Resolution is a step in the right direction. The structural racism, violence and brutality exercised by police exist across the EU Member States, not only in the US. Also in my own country, Slovakia. Just in April this year, I launched the investigation where the victims of such police brutality were five young children.  They were beaten by a policeman with a truncheon and even threatened to shoot them. This is unacceptable! We cannot turn a blind eye on such behaviour. It not only diminishes human dignity but also undermines our values we cherish.”

Hilde Vautmans, a Belgian MEP, ARDI Vice-Chair, Renew Europe shared her hopes while also calling on everyone to contribute: “After today's vote, I am hopeful that change is possible. I am hopeful that one day, skin colour will no longer be a ground for discrimination in our societies. But there's a lot of work ahead of us. We can have the best strategies and action plans in place. In the end, change will be determined by us and by the extent to which we live up to those strategies and plans. So today, I call on everyone to take his or her responsibility and do better. Every little bit helps.”

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Malta Refugee Council launched on the World Refugee Day

The Malta Refugee Council, a network of Maltese non-governmental organisations working on human rights and refugee issues, was launched on World Refugee Day, 20 June.

“Our mission is to advocate for legislation, policies and practices that are in accordance with Malta’s obligations and also best practices in this sector", their statement reads. "On World Refugee Day we are called upon to consider the plight of persons forced out of their homes. ... We seek to foster an environment that welcomes refugees in a manner that is respectful and inclusive. Our shared experiences will guide us towards identifying those areas where Malta’s practice ought to be improved, as well as those where it may be promoted as exemplary."

"Furthermore, we are keen to urge increased support to Malta by other EU Member States and the EU Institutions."

The council will engage through policy papers on key issues, press statements and other public interventions, as well as advocacy meetings with stakeholders.

Membership in the Malta Refugee Council is open to any Maltese NGO with a focus on refugee rights. At present, the members of the Council are the Aditus foundation, the African Media Association, Blue Door English, Integra Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRC),  KOPIN, Migrant Women Association, SOS Malta, and Spark15.

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Czech Republic: Government restores the programme for labour migration

As of Monday 15 June 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has partially restored the Qualified Worker Programme, which enables employers operating in the Czech Republic to employ qualified foreign workers from specific countries. The programme was stopped during the Covid-19 pandemic but is now re-launched for workers from Ukraine, which is the second biggest source of foreign workers in Czechia.

Currently, around 200 employers are looking for 1,000 Ukrainian workers, particularly in the construction and machinery manufacturing sectors where there is a shortage in Czechia.

Workers from other countries in the programme (such as Belarus, Philippines, India) are not allowed to apply as Czech embassies are not yet fully in operation there due to the development of the pandemic.

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Language and literacy learning through art is now available

LALI ArtApp is intended to support language teaching. The application includes tasks related to different themes that support the acquisition of vocabulary and grammatical structures through works of art.

The app is part of an online free language training package for immigrants and is available in four different languages: English, French, German and Finnish. On the project website, a handbook for teaching literacy through art is also accessible.

The tasks in Finnish are mainly related to the collections of the Turku Art Museum, while the French and German versions are related to the collections of local museums and the English version features art from all of them.

The free LALI ArtAPP app is available for Android phones from the Google Play Store and for Apple iPhones in the App Store.

The development of the application was funded by Erasmus +. In addition to the University of Turku (Finland), experts of education from France, Austria and Hungary were involved.

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Poland: Solidarity allowance due to Covid-19 for the unemployed applies to foreigners

On 21 June 2020, the law introducing the solidarity allowance for people who lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic entered into force. It is targeted at people whose contract was terminated after 15 March 2020, or whose fixed-term work contract ended after 15 March 2020. The benefits will be paid for three months in the amount of PLN 1,400 (about EUR 316) per month from June to August 2020. Foreigners residing in Poland are also entitled to this allowance.

Apart from EU nationals and their family members, foreigners who have the right to the solidarity allowance include:

  • Foreigners holding a temporary residence permit or a visa issued in connection with work;
  • Foreigners with the right to stay permanently in Poland, i.e. holders of a permanent residence permit or a long-term EU residence permit;
  • Foreigners that have protection in Poland, i.e. recognised refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection as well as holders of a permit granted for humanitarian reasons or a permit for tolerated stay, together with their family members.

The application for the solidarity allowance can only be submitted electronically on the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) website. During the payment of the solidarity allowance, unemployment benefits (which have been increased under the new law) are temporarily suspended.

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Integration Practices Recently Uploaded

“OIKOS” Shelter and Support for Unaccompanied Minor Girls in Greece

OIKOS provides shelter for unaccompanied minor girls in Athens and offers them psycho-social support, legal aid (for asylum applications and family reunification), access to education, medical treatment and creative activities. The project is implemented by ZEUXIS , a non-profit organisation…
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Cocina Conciencia – labour market integration for unaccompanied minors

Cocina Conciencia is a project that promotes the social inclusion and labour market integration of unaccompanied minors. By promoting one-on-one relationships with chefs in the gastronomy sector, the project provides young migrants with a community where they receive training and mentoring by…
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Project ST

The ST Project was the first project in the field of migration in the municipality of Odemira, Portugal, in 2013. It is funded by the Choices Program (5th Generation) / the High Commission for Migration (ACM) and promoted by TAIPA. The project emerged after a group of actors observed an increase…
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Family Water Safety: swimming skills for newly arrived immigrants in Sweden

Through the Family Water Safety programme, the Swedish Life Saving Society has successfully provided newly arrived immigrant children, young people and their families with swimming expertise so that they can feel safe in the water, become water safety ambassadors and enjoy Sweden's…
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Latest Funding Information

Call for funding in Portugal: Language learning and training

The High Commission for Migration is now accepting funding applications for projects promoting the implementation of measures focused on education and training, including language training and preparatory actions that facilitate access to the labour market. Priority is given to actions that adopt measures specifically targeted at migrant women, including refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection. This funding opportunity is made available through the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). The total amount available is € 815,000.

The successful projects will focus on:

  • Portuguese language actions that aim to provide participants with knowledge for certification (Level A2 - Elementary User, of the CEFR - Common European Framework of Reference for Languages);
  • Initiation actions that aim to provide participants with basic knowledge for their social and professional integration;
  • Literacy actions that aim to provide participants with reading and writing skills in Portuguese, contributing to their autonomy as immigrant citizens;
  • Integrated cultural orientation actions combined with the teaching of the Portuguese language to promote practical knowledge of local contexts, institutions and practices to access to the labour market.

Approved projects may benefit from a maximum co-financing rate of 75%. The duration of the projects should not exceed 36 months. The projects’ budget should not be lower than € 20,000.

The deadline to submit applications is 21 July 2020. For all information about requirements and applications, please visit the website of the calls for proposals.

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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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Second round of Culture of Solidarity Fund announced

The European Cultural Foundation announced the second window for applications to its Culture of Solidarity Fund, launched earlier this year in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund supports imaginative cultural initiatives - big or small - that, in the midst of the global health and economic crisis, reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space. The fund seeks to nourish a culture of European solidarity during the pandemic and beyond.

The Fund is open to individuals, collectives and organisations from all sectors and civil society at large with initiatives and ideas that:

  • Expand the notion of Europe as an open and shared public space for everybody in times of inward-looking and national decision-making;
  • Express and act in hands-on solidarity with people and communities across closed borders;
  • Share experiences, knowledge, skills, stories, ideas and resources of solidarity across Europe, especially outside mainstream public attention;
  • Sustain people-to-people interaction beyond European borders and in times of travel restrictions and social distancing;
  • Maintain cultural life and social experiences with a European outreach in times of home lockdown and prepare the ground for a cultural revival of Europe after the crisis;  
  • Develop new approaches in operations of cultural work and new alliances across sectors to deal with the current challenges imposed by the crisis.              

The Fund has grants available in three amounts:

  • €5 000 – 15 000 (5 - 10 awarded projects per submission round)
  • €15 000 – 30 000 (2 - 3 awarded projects per submission round)
  • €30 000 – 50 000 (1 - 2 awarded projects per submission round)

The Fund will pay special attention to proposals coming from:

  • regions where so far there is little to no emergency funding made available for the cultural and creative sector institutions;

  • people and communities that face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, (cultural) background, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Grants can be used for financing a wide range of activities ranging from seed money for entirely new initiatives and (co-)funding for scaling up already existing ideas to European level. They can cover material costs, office costs, online co-working and communication tools, production costs, but also expert fees and staff costs. 

The Fund will open several application windows throughout the year and will distribute funding equally over all windows. The second round for applications opens on 22 June 2020 and closes on 14 July 2020, 13:00 CET. 

For application, rules and more information, please visit the website of the Culture of Solidarity Fund.

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Bulgaria: Funding to support children and families affected by COVID-19

As a response to the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bulgarian Donors Forum, the National Network for Children and the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation have launched the new Programme Iris which aims to support vulnerable children and their families. The programme is particularly focused on covering their basic needs and reducing the risk of separation between children and parents in the tough conditions of the pandemic, as well as the economic crisis.

Iris is going to finance Bulgarian not-for-profit initiatives proposed by not-for-profit organisations, community centres ("читалища") and informal groups of a minimum of five people with funding up to 10 000 EUR per project. The final beneficiaries could be Bulgarian or foreign citizens. The proposals are accepted on rolling bases and every 10 days newly-awarded projects will be announced until all available funds are distributed. All information is available here

The programme currently allocates 317 000 EUR to respond to the most urgent needs. However, fundraising for Iris is continual so that it is able to support even more children and families in need. See the possibilities to donate here.

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Latest Documents

Covid impact - lifting structural barriers: A priority in the fight against racism

The Covid-19 pandemic has had one clear consequence in the lives of racialised groups: it has exacerbated existing and historical systemic inequalities in society, and is having a particular impact on racialised groups. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) published a position paper…
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France. Hausse des actes et discours à caractère raciste en 2019

La Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme (CNCDH), rapporteur national indépendant sur la lutte contre le racisme sous toutes ses formes, a publié, le 18 juin 2020, son 29ème rapport annuel sur le racisme, l’antisémitisme et la…
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UK. Social Connection in the Covid-19 Crisis

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration held a two-part enquiry about social connection during the Covid-19 crisis. In late March 2020, the APPG put out a call for written evidence, supplemented by three online evidence sessions held in mid-April 2020. Questions that the first…
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