There are several EU funding instruments supporting the integration of refugees and asylum seekers in the European Union. Within the scope of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion the two most relevant instruments are:
In order to improve the employment opportunities of asylum seekers, the ESF can provide valuable support to their social inclusion and swift integration into the labour market. However, the ESF support can only be granted to those asylum seekers who have legal access to the labour market. Measures foreseen for the integration of asylum seekers – and of migrants more generally – include language courses, skills identification and vocational training.
In addition to the ESF, FEAD supports asylum seekers by providing them with immediate relief (food, basic material assistance) and promoting their social inclusion, regardless of their legal status. However, Member States define the target groups individually and the scope of support by FEAD depends on the scope of the national programme.
In order to help Member States to identify how the different EU funding instruments can support the integration of refugees and asylum seekers, the European Commission has published the following two guidance notes:
- Synergies between the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and other EU funding instruments in relation to reception and integration of asylum seekers and other migrants.
- Support to asylum seekers under the ESF and FEAD
European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation
Under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" 2014-2020 the European Commission has launched a call for proposals that aims at funding innovative transnational projects to test and implement innovative policy schemes and delivery mechanisms that will ensure and facilitate a swift labour market integration of asylum seekers, refugees and their family members. The objectives of this call are:
- to promote the development and testing of innovative and effective mechanisms to ensure fast-track integration into the labour market;
- to develop sustainable multi-level partnerships models conducive towards the integration of the targeted groups into the labour market;
- to foster knowledge- and experience-sharing between different Member States of already functioning swift and successful insertion mechanisms into the labour market of the targeted groups, with a strong emphasis on the challenges faced by women
For more information on other EU funding instruments please visit the European Website on Integration.