31 January 2018 / Issues 99

Meet your national integration representative to the EU

31 representatives of national authorities are committed since November 2016 to exchange knowledge in the field of migrant integration and consult with the European Commission on current developments and policy agenda. These members of the European Integration Network (EIN) therefore participate in targeted study visits, meetings, peer reviews, workshops and mutual assistance actions on specific integration aspects.

The editorial team of the European Web Site on Integration is now publishing information allowing you to:

EIN members

Other European cooperation platforms, such as the Urban Agenda, also promote mutual learning between relevant integration actors. They are featured on the network page

Other EU cooperation platforms

This 99th issue of EWSI's newsletter also features a selection of the latest integration news, funding opportunities and documents:

Latest News

Deutschland: Deutlich weniger Familiennachzüge

Im Jahr 2017 sind insgesamt 85.000 Menschen über den Familiennachzug nach Deutschland gekommen. Damit liegt die Zahl deutlich niedriger als in den Jahren zuvor. Im Jahr 2016 kamen mit insgesamt 114.500 Menschen deutlich mehr Personen im Zuge des Familiennachzugs nach Deutschland, 2015 waren es rund 90.000. Die Zahl der bewilligten Visa ist hingegen fast unverändert hoch. Dies geht aus Zahlen des Ausländerzentralregisters hervor, die das Bundesinnenministerium in einer Antwort auf eine parlamentarische Anfrage der Freien Demokratischen Partei (FDP) veröffentlicht hat.

Den Daten zufolge beantragten von Januar bis Ende September 2017 fast 104.000 Menschen ein Visum für den Nachzug zu Familienangehörigen. 2016 gab es rund 115.000 Anträge und in der Folge fast ebenso viele Einreisen. Das Auswärtige Amt teilte mit, dass bis Ende September 2017 insgesamt 89.000 Visa für den Familiennachzug nach Deutschland bewilligt wurden.Von den 2017 eingereisten Familienangehörigen waren 36.100 Minderjährige und rund  54.000 Frauen oder Mädchen.

Für die Gruppe der sogenannten subsidiär Schutzberechtigten wurde der Familiennachzug aktuell ausgesetzt, um die Fluchtzuwanderung nach Deutschland zu begrenzen. Betroffen sind vor allem Syrer, die seit März 2016 ihre engsten Angehörigen auch nach der Anerkennung in Deutschland nicht nachholen dürfen. Ob die Regelung, die bis zum März 2018 greift, verlängert wird, ist derzeit politisch stark umstritten und unter anderem auch Gegenstand der Sondierungsgespräche von Union und SPD. Der Familiennachzug kann derzeit in Härtefällen, insbesondere, wenn Kinder davon betroffen sind, bewilligt werden. Auf diesem Weg erhielten im letzten Jahr laut Auswärtigem Amt rund 96 Personen ein Visum.

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Netherlands: Trade unions plead for better labour conditions

In January, Labour Union CNV chairman Maurice Limmen demanded for authorities to put an end to labour migration. He Stated in an interview with De Telegraaf that employers are wrong to say that they need people from abroad because of labour shortages, as 1.2 million unemployed people in the Netherlands state that they want to work, says Limmen. These include non-Western immigrants as well as senior citizens and disabled people. Limmen and other trade union leaders plead for improved working conditions to attract these groups of workers instead of calling for labour migrants who end up in vulnerable situations.

Employers are making sectors less attractive

According to Limmen, employers have caused the labour shortages themselves by deteriorating employment conditions. ‘Shortages are mainly present in sectors that have done everything to make working in these sectors as unattractive as possible.’ he explains. The catering industry is a good example, he adds. This sector has opposed signing collective labour agreement for years and employees' benefits are very minimal. Few in this sector receive training or have career development prospects, for example. Limmen argues for investments in professionals through training and permanent contracts. Read more

Low wages lead to negative image of migrants

Sharan Burrow, chairman of the international labour union ITUC explains that labour migration generally leads to low wages, poor housing and poor working conditions, as more than half of the labour migrants have ended up in vulnerable situations. Meanwhile, 73% of workers are afraid of losing their job, 81% say that the minimum wage is not high enough to live on and many have no confidence in politics and see growing greed among companies. The negative image migrants face is therefore partially due to the prevailing uncertainty in the labour market. Read more

EU directives to improve the situation

Various EU directives have now been adopted to set minimum standards for the treatment of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in different areas. In 2016, all European countries signed the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. By means of this declaration they have agreed to pay particular attention to the application of minimum labour standards for migrant workers, regardless of their status. Read more 

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Join the public consultation on EU funds in the area of migration

In 2018, the Commission will make comprehensive proposals for the next generation of financial programmes for the post-2020 period. The Commission aims for proposals that make it possible for the EU to deliver on important issues, in areas where it can achieve more than Member States acting alone. This requires a careful assessment both of what has worked well in the past and what could be improved in the future. This consultation is part of the process and its objective is to collect the views of all interested parties.

All citizens and stakeholders with an interest and/or involvement in issues related to migration and asylum are welcome to respond to this consultation until 8 March 2018. You can contribute by filling in the online questionnaire accessible in 23 EU languages. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. 

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Greece: Data on Relocation procedures to other EU member States

The Asylum Service at the Greek Ministry of Migration Policy has published the number and nationalities of asylum seekers relocated from Greece across the Eu until 31 December 2017. The provided statistics show that 24 906 applications for relocation have been lodged until 2017, mainly from Syrian nationals. Many of the asylum seekers (38% of the total number of applications lodged) aspiring to be relocated to other EU country are children 0-13 years old. Germany (5 371), France (4 394) and the Netherlands (1 748) accept most of the relocated asylum seekers.

The number of rejected applications until now is 1 292. Other statistics

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Europe: EC signes a multi-stakeholder Partnership for Integration

Employment is a core element of the integration process and getting refugees and other newcomers quickly into work is an important objective shared by EU Member States. To ensure that inclusive labour markets draw from skills and talents of refugees, the European Commission and European Social and Economic partners signed a multi-stakeholder European Partnership for Integration during a ceremony held on 20 December 2017 in Brussels.

The European Commission, the European Trade Union - ETUC, the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises - UAPME, Employers organisation - BusinessEurope, the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services - CEEP and the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry - Eurochambers agreed on key principles and commitments to support the labour market integration of refugees and migrants legally residing in the EU. 

Providing support as early as possible, ensuring that integration benefits refugees as well as the economy and the society at large, facilitating the identification of skills and supporting employers in hiring refugees are some of these principles and commitments agreed upon. Partners have also committed to promote the Partnership amongst their members and to strengthen cooperation with public authorities at all appropriate levels.

The European Commission will endeavour, amongst other things, to promote synergies with EU funds, ensure synergies with other related initiatives at European level and continue to work with relevant EU bodies, groups, committees and networks as well as Social and Economic partners to support the labour market integration of refugees.

Labour market integration is indeed addressed by other Commission's initiatives such as the EU Skills Profile Tool, supporting the early identification of skills and Employers Together for Integration, giving visibility to what employers are doing to support integration.

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Latest Funding Information

Czech Republic: U.S. Embassy´s Small Grants Programme open

The U.S. Embassy in Prague is inviting institutions, organisations and individuals to submit project proposals for funding up to $ 10 000. Human rights & minority integration is one of the thematic priorities defined by the Embassy. Other relevant themes for migrant integration include promoting democracy, good governance & rule of law; Strengthening of civil society; Educational initiatives and Gender Equality.

All proposals must be submitted electronically to GrantsPrague@state.gov by 31 January 2018. The results will be announced on or before 28 February 2018. Visit the Embassy's website for more information.

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EU funding to support MS implement EU Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia

With this action grants, DG Justice wants to support Member States’ authorities in the identification and exchange of best practices in order to ensure correct and full implementation of the EU Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law. The call is targeted at public authorities which bear a responsibility in implementing the provisions of national legislation on hate crime and hate speech, and in particular provisions transposing the EU Framework Decision.

Eligible are activities on mutual learning, exchange of good practices, strengthened cooperation and coordination between national authorities as regards the recording, investigation and prosecution of hate crime and hate speech incidents. Priority will be given to projects focusing on:

  • Concrete actions including training aiming at setting up and improving a methodology of recording incidents and data collection.
  • Enhancing investigation and prosecution, through training, exchange of best practice and networking, involving especially law enforcement and judicial authorities, including prosecutors.
  • Monitoring of online hate speech.
  • Coordination and cooperation between national authorities and civil society organisations.
  • Promoting diversity and countering discriminatory attitudes by police forces.
  • Providing respectful treatment, recognition and support to victims of hate crime.

The application must involve at least two organisations (applicant and co-applicants). The applicant must be a public authority of an EU Member State (+ Iceland and Liechtenstein), while co-applicants can be private or international organisations. The EU grant applied for cannot be lower than EUR 75,000 and the duration of the project should not exceed 24 months. The deadline for application is 5 January 2017.

Download the call's documents

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Europe: Erasmus+ calling for innovative & evidence-based policies in education. Apply

The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency is to fund projects aiming at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of education and training systems for several target groups, including people with migrant background. The call for proposals is issued under Erasmus+ Key Action 3 - Support for policy reform which supports transnational policy experimentations. Proposals therefore need to aim at implementing EU policy on Education and Training in an innovative manner. 

Activities should do so through the collection and evaluation of evidence on the systemic impact of innovative policy measures and the facilitation of transferability and scalability of innovative measures. Priority themes include:

  • mainstreaming and further developing multilingual pedagogies in school education (e.g. multilingual classrooms)
  • supporting teachers and their training to deal with diversity in classrooms
  • promoting social inclusion and shared EU values through formal and non-formal learning
  • implementing upskilling pathways for adults without an upper secondary qualification or equivalent
  • identifying best practices across educational sectors and countries and scaling up of best practices and experimentation
  • creation of an European-wide hub for online learning, virtual campuses and collaborative exchange of best practices

The call requires the involvement of high-level public authorities and the use of sound and widely recognised evaluation methods based on field trials. Applicants considered eligible include public authorities responsible for education and training; as well as public or private organisations active in the field or carrying out cross-sector activities linked to education and training. This includes NGOs, information or guidance services, public authorities, agencies, chambers of commerce, business and social partners, trade organisations, civil society, cultural or sport organisations, evaluation or research entities, media etc. The minimum partnership composition is 4 entities representing 3 eligible countries.

Proposals will be submitted and evaluated in two stages. The deadline for the submission of pre-proposals is 10 April 2018 while full proposals are to be submitted by 25 September 2018. Activities are to start between 1 January and 28 February 2019.

The total budget available for the co-financing of projects is EUR 10 000 000 but the maximum grant per project will be EUR 2 000 000. The EU financial contribution cannot exceed 75 % of the total eligible costs.

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Click here for more funding information

Latest Documents

Czech Republic: Further steps in the realisation of the updated policy for the integration of foreigners in 2018

The Czech government, in this document, outlines its 2018 plan for the implementation of its integration policy. It identifies several major areas in which integration policies should be applied, defines concrete measures and designates authorities responsible for their accomplishment. 54…
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Gewalt gegen Flüchtlinge 2017: Von Entwarnung kann keine Rede sein

Die Amadeu Antonio Stiftung und Pro Asyl verzeichnen sie 1713 flüchtlingsfeindliche Straftaten für das Jahr 2017. Sich im Schnitt täglich mehr als vier Straftaten gegen Flüchtlinge oder ihre Unterkünfte richten. Zwar zeigt ein Vergleich zwischen der aktuellen…
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Croatian Action plan for the integration of beneficiaries of international protection (2017-2019)

On 23 November 2017, the Government of the Republic of Croatia has adopted a new Action Plan for the integration of persons granted international protection. The Action Plan covers the period 2017-2019 and mainly comprises provisions on beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and refugees' rights…
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Story of a journey across Europe: From first reception to integration of migrants

Researchers from Greece, Italy and Germany have analysed different steps of economic and humanitarian migrants' journey across Europe. This report presents their assessment of the procedures in place for newcomer asylum seekers and migrants, particularly women and minors, from first…
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#Refugeeswelcome in parks: a resource book

Parks can play an important role in supporting wellbeing. This research project led by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape and the Young Foundation looked at ways of improving refugees and asylum seekers' access and enjoyment of green spaces. The resource…
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Click here for more documents