The European Union’s objective to constitute an area of freedom, security and justice should be achieved, inter alia, through common measures framing a policy on asylum and immigration, based on solidarity between Member States, which is fair towards third countries and their nationals.
In order to contribute to the development of the common Union policy on asylum and immigration and to the strengthening of the area of freedom, security and justice in the light of the application of the principles of solidarity and responsibility-sharing between the Member States and cooperation with third countries, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) was set up. It aims at supporting actions to contribute to the efficient management of migration flows and the implementation, strengthening and development of a common Union approach to asylum and immigration.
In May 2015 the European Commission adopted the European Agenda on Migration (EAM), which brings together the different steps the European Union should take now, and in the coming years, to build up a coherent and comprehensive approach to reap the benefits and address the challenges deriving from migration. It sets out four levels of action for an EU migration policy which is fair, robust and realistic. When implemented, they will provide the EU with a migration policy which respects the right to seek asylum, responds to the humanitarian challenge, provides a clear European framework for a common migration policy. This will be achieved by reducing the incentives for irregular migration, improving border management, promoting a strong common asylum policy, and proposing a new policy on legal migration.
Legal basis of AMIF are the following regulations:
- Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014)
- Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 laying down general provisions on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (OJ L 150 of 20 May 2014).
The AMIF Regulation sets out four specific objectives, respectively to:
(i) strengthen and develop all aspects of the Common European Asylum System, including its external dimension;
(ii) support legal migration to the Member States in accordance with their economic and social needs, such as labour market needs, while safeguarding the integrity of the immigration systems of Member States, and to promote the effective integration of third-country nationals;
(iii) enhance fair and effective return strategies in the Member States which contribute to combating illegal immigration, with an emphasis on sustainability of return and effective readmission in the countries of origin and transit;
(iv) enhance solidarity and responsibility-sharing between the Member States, in particular towards those most affected by migration and asylum flows, including through practical cooperation.
In conformity with Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 Article 6(2), in order to implement the AMIF, the Commission has adopted, on 3 August 2015, the 2015 Annual Work Programme for Union Actions, which includes this Call for Proposals.
Since the beginning of this year, the EU has witnessed a dramatic increase of migratory flows through its borders. This unprecedented influx, largely composed by people seeking international protection, constitutes a challenge for the European Union and its Member States not only in terms of reception, but also in terms of their longer term integration in the host society. Asylum seekers and refugees, in particular, constitute an extremely vulnerable group, due to the sufferance they escaped and lived through during their journey to flee their own country.
In its Communication "A European Agenda for Migration"1, adopted last 13 May, the Commission announced that it would "support Member States in promoting a permanent
dialogue and peer evaluation at European level on issues such as labour market gaps, regularisation and integration ", while underlining the importance of ensuring synergies
among different EU Funds2 to implement measures for the integration of migrants.
While integration remains a policy of primary national competence, the EU action in this field has played a crucial role in providing support and incentives to Member States' national integration measures, also through the previous European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund will continue promoting integration through the financing of concrete actions and transnational projects.
The 2015 Commission Work Programme identified 2 priorities for action: the integration of migrant women, and the integration in the work place.
Migrant women often suffer from lower integration rates than migrant men, as they face additional discriminations and challenges in their access to, for instance, education and to the labour market etc. in the receiving country.
The work place is one of the most prominent areas for migrants' integration and employers have a fundamental role to play in promoting the integration of migrants and thereby in realising the benefits of migration. More generally, employers can also play a role as advocates of migrants' contributions to the local economy and stimulate a more positive discourse around migrants contributing to their better integration.
PRIORITIES OF THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The present Call for Proposals aims at funding transnational projects to foster integration of third country nationals in the Member States of the European Union.
Project applications submitted under the present Call for Proposals should build onto the results of previous projects and must address either priority 1 or 2 presented below or both priorities and be designed to achieve one or several outcomes defined under each of the two priorities.
Priority 1: foster integration of migrant women.
Outcome 1.1: Share knowledge and experiences of actions to support migrant women, in particular beneficiaries of international protection, in their language learning, access to accommodation, access to health care adapted to their particular needs and access to vocational training and targeted assistance in seeking employment, including through services facilitating the balance with private and family life such as childcare services and care for other dependent persons.
Outcome 1.2: Implement concrete initiatives fostering the integration of migrant women, including asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, in the receiving society (through training, educational and recreational activities, vocational training, help to access to the labour market, anti-discrimination projects and cultural initiatives that promote inter-cultural dialogue and a culture of welcoming communities).
Outcome 1.3: Contribute to building capacity in countries and domains where measures targeting women (e.g. aimed at minimising their isolation and ensuring their participation in local social life), in particular asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, are still lacking.
Priority 2: facilitate the access to work and foster integration in the work place.
Outcome 2.1: Implement concrete initiatives aimed at facilitating the access to work of migrants and, in particular, beneficiaries of international protection (and asylum seekers having a legal access to the labour market), through inter alia labour market information, language and vocational training, skills assessment, information on recogniton of qualifications and contact with potential employers.
Outcome 2.2: Identify examples of and contribute to the role migrants entrepreneurs can play to foster integration.
Outcome 2.3: Stimulate methods for engaging with employers and social partners in the integration process, and ensure that a better integration is reached in the work place through the promotion and effective management of diversity.
Outcome 2.4: Exchange of experiences of initiatives involving employers in integration efforts, for example through training, mentor projects, start-up support programmes, diversity management or promotion of integration in the work place. Such initiatives can involve employers (including public administrations), social partners, migrant organisations and other relevant stakeholders.
Under priority 2, projects can target both migrants that are not yet/and not any more in employment ("access to work"), as well as migrants having a job ("integration in the work place").
Considering the existence of already-established tools in the field of integration (manuals, handbooks, etc...), proposals should aim at having a direct impact/effect on third-country nationals through the implementation of concrete integration actions. This will be evaluated under the relevance criteria.
Any actions under this Call for Proposals shall respect and shall be implemented in line with the rights and principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the relevant return acquis. Applications should pay appropriate attention to the effects of the project on individual rights and freedoms, as well as to possible remedies. In addition, any action under this Call for Proposals should comply with all relevant ethical principles and all applicable international, EU and national law on ethical issues while carrying out the project.