As 2016 is rapidly progressing, Europe still finds herself in the difficult position of managing an unprecedented inflow of people, many of them vulnerable individuals seeking international protection.
This presents a challenge across Europe not only in terms of their immediate reception, but also with regard to their long-term integration into society. Luckily a lot of promising initiatives and calls for action are focusing on the refugee crisis.
Find here a short overview of European and member initiatives.
The European Commission’s DG Growth’s is organising the European Social Innovation Competition, focused on ’Integrated Futures’ this year. They are looking for innovations in products, technologies, services and models that can support the integration of refugees and migrants. Find more information here & here.
The refugee crisis has an equally important local dimension; with local authorities and a range of local organisations being at the forefront of reception and integration efforts. To map these efforts, The OECDlaunched a “Call for Initiatives” to extract what local authorities and other actors know works, what the new scenario is demanding and how equipped they are to respond. Find the overview here.
4ONEMANKIND GUG – WWW.SOCIALPROHUB.ORG, is a project supported by EVPA member Ashoka, and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie. Several developer communities in Mannheim, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich joined forces with activists around Grameen Creative Lab and Refugee Action tank to develop an online one-stop shop which provides an information service to refugees. Find more information about the project here, here & here.
Vision Europe is a partnership between seven leading think tanks and foundations in Europe, including EVPA member Bertelsmann Stiftung (Germany) – focusing their efforts in 2016 on providing practical solutions to the current refugee crisis, and its root causes. The coalition also made a number of policy proposals to EU leaders, focused on distribution systems, and addressing the root causes of the conflict. Find the proposal here.
The King Baudouin Foundation’s call for projects to bring refugees, including unaccompanied minors, into contact with communities has resulted in the selection of 40 projects that will share EUR 300,000 of funding. The Foundations’s aim is to enable communities to provide the best possible welcome for new arrivals. The Foundation has decided to make medium- and long-term commitments to integrate refugees into the fabric of Belgian society. The Foundation is making EUR 2 million available for projects in 2016 and EUR 2 million in 2017. More information here.
De Verre Bergen– Its ‘New Home Rotterdam’ integration program focuses on housing Syrian families throughout Rotterdam. Offering housing alongside a tailored integration program, the ambition of the program is to educate refugees, teach them Dutch language (acceptable levels) and help those find jobs, in order to make Rotterdam as their home. The program starts in 2016 by offering housing to 100 families. Depending on the progress, it is expected to expand the program to 200 families. Read more in Dutch here.
A pilot phase of the sub-fund on immigration detention has been launched, by The European Programme for Integration and Migration(EPIM), an initiative of currently 12 European Foundations, in 2015 and supports nine civil society projects in the focus countries Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece for an initial project phase of 12 months (September 2015-August 2016). The sub-fund aims to support civil society in seizing opportunities to advocate for reducing the use of detention to a tool of last resort, increasing transparency and accountability; and promoting alternatives to detention. Find more information about the sub-fund here.
GESS is organising a 2016 summer school for students keen to work on the theme of migration. Applications are open and more information can be found here.
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