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Call for Papers – European Conference: From Tampere 20 to Tampere 2.0

Call for Papers – European Conference: From Tampere 20 to Tampere 2.0

26/04/2019

The European Migration Network Finland, Odysseus Academic Network and European Policy Centre will organise a conference on 24-25 October 2019 in Helsinki to explore upcoming developments in EU migration policy, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Tampere conclusions which deeply influenced EU migration and asylum policies.

The organisers have launched a call for papers for five preparatory workshops to be held in Brussels in June 2019. The workshops will be in charge of drafting papers to be discussed at the conference. A final document will be presented after the October 2019 conference to EU institutions and Member States for discussion. The topics for the preparatory workshops will be:

  • Institutional and financial framework in particular agencies
  • Partnership with third countries
  • A Common European Asylum System
  • Fair treatment of third-country nationals (legal migration and integration)
  • Management of migration flows

There are several upcoming developments in EU migration policy—a new strategic agenda to be adopted by the European Council, a renewed European Parliament and Commission with new policy priorities following the European elections and a five-year programme (2020-2024) that should be adopted by the European Council. The conference will provide ideas and suggestions for this new five-year programme.

All interested institutions and organisations from the public or private sector, as well as individuals, can contribute to the preparatory workshops by submitting policy proposals regarding the future of EU migration and asylum policies. Submissions must be received by 10 May 2019. 

See guidelines and further information

See how regions are responding to migrant integration needs

See how regions are responding to migrant integration needs

24/04/2019

The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) has rolled out a new tool to visualise the actions and competences of regional authorities regarding migration, asylum and integration. Currently launched as a beta version, the tool is based on a survey of CPMR’s members and will be updated continuously.

The tool allows users to see what regions across Europe are doing for the reception, integration and social inclusion of migrants and refugees. Regions can also use the tool to show their interest in cooperating on migration topics with other regions or through international frameworks.

The CPMR is a network of 160 regions from the EU and beyond that seeks to ensure the needs and interests of its member regions in policymaking. The network is also a partner in the European Committee of the Region’s new Cities and Regions for Integration initiative.  

See the Migration Visual Mapping

Campements de migrants en France – Les élus locaux interpellent le gouvernement

Campements de migrants en France – Les élus locaux interpellent le gouvernement

24/04/2019

La maire de Paris, Anne Hidalgo, a lancé le 24 avril 2019 un appel au gouvernement français pour la prise en charge des migrants qui vivent dans des tentes aux portes de Paris et dans d’autres villes en France. Elle a été accompagnée des Maires de plusieurs villes françaises—Rennes, Lille, Troyes, Grande-Synthe, Aubervilliers, Bordeaux, Metz, Toulouse, Grenoble, Nantes, Strasbourg et Saint-Denis.

Cet appel a été lancé sous la forme d’un courrier adressé au gouvernement, qui a la compétence de la prise en charge des demandeurs d’asile et des réfugiés et la gestion de l’hébergement d’urgence. Dans ce courrier, les Maires, qui viennent de tous bords politiques, appellent le gouvernement à mettre en place un accueil digne des « valeurs et de la tradition humaniste » de la France.

Ces Maires indiquent qu’ils sont « confrontés à une tension de plus en plus forte sur les dispositifs de prise en charge des personnes qui viennent chercher refuge » sur leurs territoires et « à une situation humanitaire qui ne cesse de se dégrader, avec des femmes, des enfants, des hommes par centaines qui vivent dans des conditions indignes ». Les Maires souhaitent rencontrer le gouvernement afin d’échanger sur le dispositif d’accueil et d’orientation des migrants et la mise à l’abri inconditionnelle des personnes présentes sur leurs territoires.

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Council of Europe adopts recommendation to support young refugees

Council of Europe adopts recommendation to support young refugees

24/04/2019

The Council of Europe has adopted a recommendation for its member countries to offer temporary support to young refugees after they reach adulthood. When refugees who arrived as children turn 18, they often face sudden changes in their rights and in their access to essential services, as they are no longer eligible for support or rights that are granted to children. When support across diverse sectors such as education, employment, housing and healthcare abruptly ends, young refugees may end up in situations of exploitation, abuse and other harm.

Recognising the gaps in support for this vulnerable group, the Council of Europe recommends that member states act to ensure the rights and opportunities of young refugees as they transition into adulthood. This includes protection from discrimination and abuse, ensuring access to education and social services (including legal advice), helping with the transition to the labour market, safeguarding the right to family reunification and improving the legal framework of states.

The recommendation also emphasises the role of youth work and non-formal education in helping young refugees to transition into adulthood, as well as the importance of encouraging young refugees to be culturally, socially and politically active in their host societies.

See the recommendation

Third-country nationals to be included in Poland’s Pension+ programme

Third-country nationals to be included in Poland’s Pension+ programme

23/04/2019

Third-country nationals will be entitled to a one-off cash benefit for pensioners in Poland. On 25 April 2019, a new law will enter into force, introducing the so-called thirteenth pension. The thirteenth pension will be in the amount of the minimum pension—PLN 888 net, or approximately EUR 207—and will be paid in May 2019, together with existing old-age or disability pensions.

The money will be paid not only to EU citizens, but also to third-country nationals from one of the 10 countries with which Poland has signed social security agreements. This includes Ukraine, the main source country for immigration to Poland. The thirteenth pension is one of the five key pre-election promises made by the ruling party, Law and Justice.

Starting from March 2019, foreign women living in Poland for at least 10 years who brought up at least four children and do not have sufficient means for subsistence can apply for the so-called maternal pension in the amount of the minimal old-age pension.

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Health service guides for refugees and migrants in Greece

Health service guides for refugees and migrants in Greece

19/04/2019

A project sponsored by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) has published guides in four languages to help migrants and refugees in Thessaloniki, Greece access health and social services. The guides answer questions about topics like health care entitlements, where to get information and psychosocial support and where to get free medication with a doctor’s prescription.

At an event where the guides were distributed, participants mentioned that a major problem for third-country nationals in accessing health care is the (lack of a) Social Security Register Number. Many highlighted the inadequacy of intercultural mediation in hospitals. Participants at the event also asked for signs to be displayed in other languages ​​in hospitals and more generally to fight stereotypes and discrimination in the fields of health and social care.

Thus, the programme Local Alliance for Integration (LION), which published the guides, seeks to highlight the needs and shortcomings in health and social care, creating a platform for local authorities and third-country nationals through a process that includes training meetings, creation and distribution of information materials and the organisation of information days.

The LION programme is coordinated by the National School of Public Health (Greece), Ghent University, the NGOs PRAKSIS and Syn-Eirmos, the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) and consulting firm CMT Prooptiki. Read more

New work and residence arrangement for Asian chefs in the Netherlands

New work and residence arrangement for Asian chefs in the Netherlands

16/04/2019

The Dutch minister of social affairs and employment has announced structural changes to make it easier for hotels and restaurants serving Asian cuisines to hire and retain chefs from Asian countries. The original annual quota of 1,500 residence and work permits for such chefs has already been filled for 2019. The minister is now opening an additional 800 permits, which will be followed later in the year by a new arrangement for the issuance of residence and work permits. The goal is to end labour shortages in the sector as well as uncertainty for restaurant owners.

The forthcoming arrangement will allow chefs from Asian countries to work in the Netherlands for two years (as opposed to one year under the current scheme). As a condition for granting a permit to a chef from an Asian country, no qualified Dutch or European chef can be available for the job. The Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) will monitor the new arrangement.

Background

A legal amendment that came into effect on 1 January 2014 introduced rules making it difficult for restaurants to hire or retain cooks from Asian countries. This amendment required restaurants to apply for a new work and residence permit every year for staff from outside Europe, whereas previously the permits had been issued for three-year periods.

The 2014 change was based on the premise that there was no need to hire cooks from Asian countries, as their skills could be learned by Dutch nationals. Additionally, the UWV wanted more people to participate in the labour market, and a growing number of cooks in the Netherlands were unemployed and receiving social benefits.

A spokesperson for Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, the largest organisation representing the hospitality sector in the country, stated that the UWV had underestimated the difficulty of preparing Asian cuisines and the level of training required. Additionally, as a representative of the Association of Chinese Hospitality Entrepreneurs pointed out, there was no training course in the Netherlands for Chinese cuisine when the rules changed.

Since 2014, Asian restaurants and hotels have had to deal with temporary schemes and quotas every year for their cooks, creating continuous uncertainty for their operations. The new arrangement intends to address the current difficulties in employing these specialised chefs.

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Integrationsministerkonferenz fordert Beibehaltung der Flüchtlingsfinanzierung und Reform der Sprachförderung

Integrationsministerkonferenz fordert Beibehaltung der Flüchtlingsfinanzierung und Reform der Sprachförderung

15/04/2019

Im Rahmen der 14. Integrationsministerkonferenz in Berlin kamen die Minister und Senatoren der Bundesländer vom 11. bis 12. April zusammen, um unter dem diesjährigen Motto „Ankommen.Teilhaben.Bleiben.“ über Zukunftsfragen der Integration zu sprechen.

Ein wichtiges Thema bildete die Flüchtlingsfinanzierung. Alle Länder fordern, dass sich der Bund auch nach 2019 an der Finanzierung von Unterbringung, Betreuung und Integration von Geflüchteten ohne Absenkungen beteiligt. Elke Breitenbach, die Vorsitzende der Integrationsministerkonferenz und Berliner Integrationssenatorin, betonte, dass sich der Bund hier nicht aus seiner Verantwortung stehlen dürfe. Unter allen Ländern besteht Einigkeit darin, dass die Integrationsarbeit der Länder und Kommunen auch weiterhin die Unterstützung des Bundes braucht.

Zudem fordert die Integrationsministerkonferenz eine Neustrukturierung der Sprachförderung für Migranten, um die Qualität der Kurse zu verbessern. Die Kurse sollen in Zukunft besser aufeinander abgestimmt sowie modular aufgebaut sein. Auch sollen sie besser als bisher bildungsfernere Migranten berücksichtigen. Die Länder wollen auch die berufsbezogenen Sprachkurse für die Migranten öffnen, die arbeiten und ihre Kurse selbst bezahlen können.

Derzeit gibt es deutliche qualitative Mängel in Bezug auf den Erfolg der Sprachkurse, weshalb die Länder nun die Neustrukturierung forden: Aktuell bestehen nur circa 50 % der Prüfungsteilnehmenden ihre B1 Kurse, bei A2 sind es sogar nur 40 %. Während man mit einem Sprachniveau A2 grundlegende Aufgaben im Alltag wahrnehmen kann, wird B1 oftmals als Voraussetzung zur gesellschaftlichen Integration und der Arbeit gesehen.

Die Integrationskonferenz will insgesamt die interkulturelle Öffnung weiter voranbringen und sich für gleichberechtigte Entwicklungs- und Aufstiegschancen für Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund einsetzen. Mehr erfahren

Experten protestieren gegen Pläne der Bundesregierung für dauerhafte Wohnsitzauflage für Geflüchtete

Experten protestieren gegen Pläne der Bundesregierung für dauerhafte Wohnsitzauflage für Geflüchtete

12/04/2019

Der Sachverständigenrat deutscher Stiftungen für Integration und Migration (SVR) kritisiert den Plan der Bundesregierung, die Wohnsitzauflage für Flüchtlinge zur Dauerregel zu etablieren. Die Auflage könne laut den Experten zwar dazu beitragen, die Rahmenbedingungen für Integration zu verbessern, stellt jedoch eine erhebliche Einschränkung der Freizügigkeit international Schutzberechtigter dar, erklärte der SVR in Berlin.

Die Wohnsitzauflage entstand vor dem Hintergrund, dass im Herbst 2015 innerhalb kurzer Zeit besonders viele Flüchtlinge nach Deutschland migriert sind. Nach Anerkennung als Schutzberechtigte konnten diese damals ihren Wohnort frei wählen. Bei Bund, Ländern und Kommunen wuchsen die Bedenken, dass die Geflüchteten vor allem in die Großstädte und die Ballungszentren Deutschlands ziehen würden und dadurch der Integrationsprozess beeinträchtigt würde.

Aufgrund dessen führte die Bundesregierung mit dem Integrationsgesetz ab dem 6. August 2016 eine auf drei Jahre befristete Wohnsitzregelung (§ 12a AufenthG) ein. Die Auflage zwingt Flüchtlinge dazu, sich in einem bestimmten Bundesland, Kreis oder einer Stadt niederzulassen, und wurde zunächst auf drei Jahre befristet. Im August 2019 würde sie auslaufen. Die Bundesregierung will die Regelung aber entfristen. Die Residenzpflicht für Flüchtlinge war nach jahrelanger Kritik von Organisationen im Jahr 2014 zunächst abgeschafft worden.

Die Wissenschaftler des SVR stoßen sich daran, dass vor der von der Bundesregierung geplanten Entfristung der Wohnsitzpflicht keine Evaluierung der Maßnahme vorliegt, was im Koalitionsvertrag jedoch versprochen wurde. „Planbarkeit der Integrationsangebote und Vermeidung von Segregation sind wichtige Ziele. Allerdings ist zugleich die integrationsförderliche Wirkung der Maßnahme zentral für ihre Begründung. Daher ließe sich allenfalls darüber nachdenken, die am 6. August 2019 außer Kraft tretende Wohnsitzregelung um weitere zwei Jahre zu verlängern“, so der SVR-Vorsitzende Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer. Bauer schlägt daher vor, eine Entfristung an eine Evaluation zu koppeln, in die neben den Verwaltungen auch soziale und Bildungsträger eingebunden werden sollten.

Bauer gibt außerdem zu Bedenken, dass sich studieninteressierte Flüchtlinge durch Wohnsitzauflagen mitunter Hürden ausgesetzt sehen, etwa wenn sie Beratungsangebote durch die Hochschulen wahrnehmen oder an Studienvorbereitungskursen teilnehmen wollen.

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Third-country national parents can derive residence rights from their EU-citizen children

Third-country national parents can derive residence rights from their EU-citizen children

09/04/2019

Following a ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), many third-country national (TCN) parents of Dutch children have applied to obtain residence rights based on their children’s EU citizenship. The May 2017 ruling of the ECJ held that TCN parents of EU-citizen minor children have a derived right of residence in the EU. Thus, TCN parents can obtain residence permits based on their children’s EU citizenship.

The ECJ ruling stems from appeals by several TCN mothers who challenged Dutch courts’ decisions to restrict their access to government social assistance because they did not have Dutch residence permits. In these cases, the children had Dutch citizenship through their fathers, but the parents were no longer together. The Dutch Higher Administrative Court (Centrale Raad van Beroep) therefore asked the ECJ to determine whether the mothers had a right of residence and entitlement to social benefits under EU law.

Under the ECJ ruling, TCN parents can obtain residence in the EU based on their children’s EU citizenship if they meet certain conditions. The main conditions are the relationship of dependency between the child and the TCN parent and that parent’s status as the primary caregiver. Notably, the ECJ held that, while it is relevant that the other (EU-citizen) parent could assume sole responsibility for the child, this fact alone is not sufficient to refuse a residence permit.

According to experts, Dutch immigration authorities have been lenient in granting residence to TCN parents. There is a high chance that these parents will receive a residence permit if they can prove that they are participating in the care and upbringing of the child and that failure to grant the residence permit would result in no other option than the child’s leaving the EU, due to the child’s dependence on the parent.

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