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Public consultation on Cyprus' migrant integration plan

Public consultation on Cyprus' migrant integration plan

22/10/2020

The first draft of Cyprus' National Plan for the Integration of Migrants has been released, and a public consultation held to listen to views and amendment suggestions from citizens, experts and stakeholders.

In the next stage of this consultation process, the team in charge of the plan's development will be hosting a series of online meetings to present it and gather feedback.

The plan, built around eight priority axes and consisting of a series of proposed actions to support migrants with integration in Cyprus, is available online. Users are able to log in and submit their comments for each axis and related actions.

The National Plan for the Integration of Migrants is co-financed by the European Union, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus on behalf of the Ministry of Interior.

Read more about the plan and related activities here.

UK: Nominations now open for the 2021 Community Integration Awards

UK: Nominations now open for the 2021 Community Integration Awards

20/10/2020

The aim of the 2021 Community Integration Awards in the United Kingdom is to recognise the inspirational ways in which migrant, refugee and ‘settled’ communities are coming together to support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do you know a project or initiative in your area which has strengthened integration and brought different parts of the community together, including migrants and refugees, to respond to COVID-19? If so, nominate them to receive £1 000, the chance to make a short promotional film about their work and a bespoke package of support to take their work to new heights.

Awards will be split into three categories: 

  1. Connecting Communities;
  2. Safety For All;
  3. Equality, Access & Rights.

To find out more about the categories and criteria, or to make a nomination, click here.

The deadline for nominations is 30 November 2020.

Czech Republic: Call for applications open to local authorities

Czech Republic: Call for applications open to local authorities

19/10/2020

The Czech Ministry of Interior announced a call for applications targeted to support local authorities willing to deal with integration issues. Candidates should submit proposals addressing the following issues:

• provision of Czech language courses;
• integration support in elementary schools and nurseries;
• integration activities and events;
• supporting interpreters and assistant teachers;
• conducting migration analyses on a local level;
• carrying out socio-cultural seminars;
• social work;
• providing training on integration to public administration clerks;
• production of information materials for foreigners and broad public

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2021; see all the additional details about the call here

Czech Republic: Foreign workers can now change jobs more quickly

Czech Republic: Foreign workers can now change jobs more quickly

19/10/2020

On Friday 16 October the Czech government held an extraordinary meeting to discuss new economic measures in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. It was decided that foreign workers in the Czech Republic will be temporarily allowed to change their place of work without undergoing the usual lengthy processes required to do so, if the new employer is involved in the COVID-19 response effort. 

While the country remains in a state of emergency, migrant workers in possession of an 'employee' or 'blue' card will no longer be required to meet the conditions stipulated by law for a change of employment, such as a six-month period of previous employment in the Czech Republic. It will also be sufficient to notify the Ministry of the Interior of any change in employment up until the first day of the new employment.

Find more information on these new regulations on the Ministry of the Interior's website.

Integrationsgipfel: Corona-Krise wirkt sich negativ auf Integration aus

Integrationsgipfel: Corona-Krise wirkt sich negativ auf Integration aus

19/10/2020

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel betonte beim 12. Integrationsgipfel der Bundesregierung, dass die Pandemie Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund in Deutschland besonders hart treffe und die Integration auch in dieser Zeit nicht außer Acht gelassen werden dürfe. Sie erläuterte, dass beispielsweise viele für die Integration wichtige Bildungs- und Beratungsangebote gestrichen wurden oder nur noch eingeschränkt stattfinden, so dass das Ankommen in der Bundesrepublik deutlich erschwert wird.

Die Integrationsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Annette Widmann-Mauz, erklärte, dass auch die Integrationskurse als das "Herzstück der Integrationsmaßnahmen" gerade zu Beginn der Pandemie komplett heruntergefahren wurden. Sie forderte im Zuge der sukzessiven Wiederaufnahme vieler Kurse einen Ausbau der digitalen Angebote.

Die Bundeskanzlerin sagte: "So aufmerksam wie wir sein müssen, um Gesundheit und das Leben unserer Mitmenschen zu schützen, so aufmerksam müssen wir eben zugleich sein, dass auch der Zusammenhalt in dieser schwierigen Zeit stark bleibt", so Merkel. Die Phase unmittelbar nach der Ankunft sei für die Integration von entscheidender Bedeutung, erklärte sie.

Merkel wies überdies darauf hin, dass sich die negativen wirtschaftlichen Entwicklungen momentan besonders die Branchen betreffen, in denen viele Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund arbeiten, die nun vermehrt Gefahr laufen, ihren Arbeitsplatz zu verlieren.

Widmann-Mauz unterstrich, dass in der momentanen Krise viele Menschen mit Migrationsgeschichte "das Land mit am Laufen" halten. "Auch das ist Integration, und das müssen wir stärken", so die Integrationsbeauftragte.

Im Rahmen des Integrationsgipfels, der seit dem Jahr 2006 abgehalten wird, kommen Migrantenorganisationen, Religionsgemeinschaften sowie Vertreter aus Wirtschaft, Politik und Sport im Kanzleramt zusammen, um über Integrationspolitik zu diskutieren.

Englischsprachige Informationen…

Bulgaria: COVID-19 funding opportunity – the crisis as an opportunity

Bulgaria: COVID-19 funding opportunity – the crisis as an opportunity

19/10/2020

The Sofia Municipality announced a new funding programme, Crisis as an opportunity. The scheme will support civil society organisations, social enterprises, and small businesses in becoming more adaptable and sustainable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis caused by the pandemic has tested the way organisations operate, and highlighted existing problems, as well as the need for entirely new services. It has led to the mobilisation of people, organisations and institutions, but also to the distancing of existing teams and communities.

As the crisis is expected to have lasting consequences, however, it may be viewed as an opportunity for enhancing the adaptability of organisations and businesses, the call notes. In particular, the pandemic has revealed the increased importance of digital assets, connectivity, and savvy digital skills.

The Crisis as an opportunity programme includes two areas:

  • Area 1: Digital adaptation and achieving sustainability of organisations, under which a project can receive up to 10 000 EUR and benefit from a mentorship scheme;
  • Area 2: Community development, under which a project can receive up to 5 000 EUR and benefit from a mentorship scheme;

The programme’s overall budget is 250 000 EUR. 

The deadline for applications is 16 November 2020. All details may be found here.

Czech Republic: Call for applications open to civil society and research institutions

Czech Republic: Call for applications open to civil society and research institutions

19/10/2020

The Czech Ministry of Interior announced a call for applications for projects assisting migrants in their integration journey. Eligible applicants include non-governmental organisations and research institutions, and the proposals should address the following supported activities:

• provision of direct assistance to foreigners;
• supporting streetwork and education of streetworkers;
• provision of training for public administration clerks;
• provision of pre-departure information, adaptation and integration courses;
• carrying out integration activities as initiated by migrants;
• conducting research on the social status of immigrants;
• informing the general public on integration of foreigners

The deadline for applications is 2 November 2020. All additional details about the call can be found here.

Portugal: Deadline extended - AMIF funding for reception facilities

Portugal: Deadline extended - AMIF funding for reception facilities

16/10/2020

The Portuguese Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) is now accepting funding applications for projects creating reception facilities for refugees and asylum seekers.

The funding will come from the EU's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). The total amount available is 1 094 772 EUR.

Successful projects are expected to focus on:

1. The creation or improvement of structures and information systems for the efficient reception and hosting of refugees and asylum seekers;
2. The refurbishing and maintenance of existing facilities or facilities to be created.

Approved projects will benefit from funding covering up to 75% of their total budget, and their duration should not exceed 36 months.

Applications must be submitted electronically by the now-extended deadline of 2 November 2020. For further information funding and requirements or to apply, please visit the official website.

AMIF Funding Call 2020: Local integration strategies

AMIF Funding Call 2020: Local integration strategies

15/10/2020

AMIF, the European Commission's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, is calling for funding proposals for projects that facilitate the development and implementation of local integration strategies through multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Projects funded through this call will involve strategies that encompass different aspects of the integration process, focusing on improving socio-economic inclusion and a sense of belonging for migrants in local communities. In addition, proposals that include strengthening transnational cooperation between relevant stakeholders are encouraged.

Funding will be granted for such actions as:

  • consultation activities for the design of local integration strategy;
  • trainings, workshops and mutual learning activities;
  • technical assistance and peer review from members of the partnership for setting up and implementing a local integration strategy;
  • transfer of knowledge activities between members of the partnership;
  • awareness raising activities and events;
  • creation of tools or platforms to facilitate the dissemination of know-how and best practices.

If proposals include actions beyond those listed above, it should be clearly demonstrated how they would serve to achieve the objectives of this call.

The proposed consortium should include relevant key partners such as local and regional authorities, national public authorities, economic and social partners, employers, social economy actors, and civil society organisations, including migrant associations and local communities.

Proposals should devote specific attention to migrant women and children, especially those in potentially vulnerable situations, as well as to members of religious or ethnic minorities who could face discrimination or disproportionate obstacles to societal integration.

More information is available on the European Commission's website, where proposals should be submitted by 16 February 2021 (at 17:00 Brussels time).

Learn more here about other funding opportunities within this call. 

The EC makes €32.7 million available to transnational projects under AMIF

The EC makes €32.7 million available to transnational projects under AMIF

15/10/2020

The European Commission (EC) announced €32.7 million made available to transnational projects on migration, including integration.

The call is part of the 2020 Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) work programme, with proposals welcome under the following six topics:  

Local integration strategies through multi stakeholder partnerships, which focus on improving socio-economic inclusion and a sense of belonging for migrants in local communities. Find out more.

Reducing obstacles for migrant access to services, either through provision of one specific basic service, or through a transversal approach to accessing all basic services (such as health care, employment support, education or housing). Find out more.

Promoting migrant participation in integration policies: projects funded in this area will promote refugee and migrant participation in the design and implementation of integration and related policies at local, regional, national and European level. Find out more.

Complementary pathways to make existing legal migration channels more accessible and integration more effective for people in need of protection. Find out more.

Victims of trafficking in human beings: projects funded in this area will address assistance, support and integration of third-country national victims of trafficking. Find out more.

Migrant children's transition to adulthood: funded projects will promote the exchange of good practices and knowledge-sharing between actors supporting unaccompanied migrant children during their transition to adulthood. Find out more.

Proposals for all topics should be submitted here by 16 February 2021.