Together with UNHCR and partner NGOs, Eurodiaconia has co-signed a statement that urges legislators to ensure the objectives of the Asylum and Migration Funds (AMF) and European Social Fund+ (ESF+), including more humane, transparent and effective asylum, migration and integration policies. The signatories welcome the general orientation of the European Commission’s proposed Asylum and Migration Funds, which emphasizes the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as well as local and regional authorities in the field of integration. Considering their direct involvement in integration and reception actions, the statement suggests enhancing their capacities by e.g. earmarking 10 percent of the financial envelope of the AMF’s Thematic Facility to CSOs and local and regional authorities. Secondly, the statement addresses the division of integration competencies between AMF and the European Social Fund+. In the Commission’s current proposal, the AMF would only cover early integration measures, while long-term integration is to fall under the ESF+. For this division to work, the signatories point to the need for synergies between the two funding tools. Funding gaps for the integration of migrants and refugees are particularly concerning, as there is no minimum allocation requirement for the legal migration/integration objective for the Member States in the AMF proposal and no earmarking for third-country nationals within the social inclusion component of the ESF+ either.
To know more on the Asylum and Migration Funds and European Social Fund+ proposal, read the full statement.