Migration: Need to share good practice on integration
New European Commissioner announces Emergency Assistance measures to Italy and Spain in support of their efforts to integrate newly arrived people
At a conference yesterday, the new European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, praised cities, towns and villages across the European Union for their work on integrating refugees and migrants. The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, welcomed the support, saying that migration in Europe needed "a fairer, more pragmatic and inclusive approach that supports regions and cities".
Commissioner Johansson was speaking on her second working day in her post at a gathering of around 400 local and regional politicians, "Go Local: Supporting regions, cities and rural areas in migrants' integration". The conference, co-organised by the European Committee of the Regions and European Commission, aims to promote a strong element of local and regional social investment in the EU's approach to migration. The European Committee of the Regions has been calling, in particular, for support for towns and villages, which, across the EU, are home to about one-third of refugees and immigrants.
Commissioner Johansson stated that: "As European Commissioner, I want to emphasise that one of our long-term goals is building a cohesive society, where each member feels respected and safe. That is why good integration will be one of my priorities. Integration is based on community and communities are built from the bottom up. That is why Go Local is such an important initiative and event." Commissioner Johansson also announced the award of new Emergency Assistance measures to Italy and Spain in support of their efforts to integrate recently arrived people.
The European Commission has called for a tripling in the principal fund through which integration work is supported – currently named the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund – from €3.1 billion in 2014-20 to €10.4 billion. The EU intends to channel most long-term funding for social inclusion through the future European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).
Organisation of the conference was led by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Home Affairs and the European Committee of the Regions, whose President, Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), in April 2019 launched the Cities and Regions for Integration initiative together with the then EU Commissioner Dimitrios Avramopoulos.
President Lambertz said, "We need to end scaremongering, do away with divisive, populist rhetoric and work with pragmatism, fairness and solidarity. Over the past decade, cities and towns across Europe have welcomed and supported refugees during a time of austerity. The Integration Initiative continues to grow, showing that villages, towns, cities and regions are helping integrate newcomers every day, and, in the process, creating inclusive communities. The Commissioner's presence yesterday, to engage with regions and cities so early on in her tenure, demonstrates that Europe is not only listening, but willing to act locally".
Other speakers included Virginio Merola (IT/PES), mayor of Bologna and member of the European Committee of the Regions, Annika Annerby Jansson, President of the Skåne region in Sweden; Rutger Groot Wassink, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, responsible for social affairs, democratisation, and diversity; and Oriol Amorós, secretary for equality, migration and citizenship in the Catalan government in Spain.
The conference included workshops on many of the areas of life in which local and regional governments are typically particularly important – housing, health, education, youth work, and sport – as well as areas where the European Commission offers its expertise to cities and regions, such as data, local strategies, and innovative financial instruments.
The EU currently offers support for integration projects through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the European Social Fund, the European Fund for Regional Development, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and Erasmus+.
Tel. +32 473 843 981
Latest News from
Money laundering: Council sets strategic priorities for further reforms06/12/2019 13:15:00
The conclusions are a direct response to the EU strategic agenda for 2019-2024 where the European Council calls for "strengthening our fight against terrorism and cross-border crime, improving cooperation and information-sharing and further developing our common instruments".
Capital markets union: Council sets objectives for the deepening of the project06/12/2019 12:15:00
CMU is an EU initiative which aims to deepen and further integrate the capital markets of EU member states. Together with the banking union, the CMU can help boost cross-border capital flows and thereby strengthen the EU economy.
Deepening the EMU: President Centeno's report to the President of the Euro Summit06/12/2019 11:15:00
The President of the Eurogroup, Mario Centeno, has sent a letter to the President of the Euro Summit, Charles Michel, to report on the progress achieved by the Eurogroup on the deepening of the economic and monetary union (EMU).
Leveraging the rail sector for green growth at local and regional level06/12/2019 09:10:00
Local and regional leaders highlight the potential of the rail sector for the EU Green Deal and other key EU policy priorities
Globalisation: how the EU’s trade policy helps to promote human rights05/12/2019 16:10:00
Growing global competition can endanger human rights by for example leading to worker exploitation. The EU uses its trade policy to promote & protect human rights in non-EU countries through preferential trade deals, as well as unilateral trade restrictions.
Malta: MEPs conclude fact-finding visit to assess Caruana Galizia murder inquiry05/12/2019 15:20:00
Following recent developments in the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017, MEPs visited Malta between 3-4 December to take stock of the situation on the ground.
We need an EU strategy in social and affordable housing, says EESC05/12/2019 14:02:00
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls for more robust EU housing policies and, at a public conference held in Brussels on 4 December 2019, has asked the EU to adopt urgent common measures in this field: housing policies at European level must make affordable houses available for all Europeans.
Students from 33 countries will take part in a European Youth Summit on Climate in Brussels05/12/2019 13:20:00
Students from 33 different countries will travel to Brussels in March 2020 to take part in a European Youth Summit on Climate. Students will be asked to represent a sector, industry or bloc of countries and negotiate with each other, in order to come up with recommendations for combatting climate change.
8th Euronest Assembly: the future of relations with Eastern partners05/12/2019 12:10:00
Energy security, EU-Eastern relations and geopolitical challenges are set to be among the focus points of the 8th session of the joint parliamentary assembly.
Europe’s state of the environment 202005/12/2019 10:15:00
While European environment & climate policies have helped to improve the environment over recent decades, Europe is not making enough progress and the outlook for the environment in the coming decade is not positive, according to the ‘European environment — state % outlook 2020 (SOER 2020)’ report.