ISMU InfoFlash from Europe

This page includes news on the most recent development in the field of migration and asylum at European level.

On a regular basis, the ISMU Foundation gathers information on the latest legislative proposals, declarations, decisions and opinions issued by European Institutions and agencies, Council of Europe, academia and civil society. More specifically, this section focusses on social inclusion and interfaith dialogue and other migration-related issues.

Updates to August 2022

(1/08) Social Europe: More transparent and predictable working conditions for workers in EU. Today is the deadline for EU Member States to transpose the Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions into national law. The Directive provides more extensive and updated labour rights and protection to the 182 million workers in the EU. With the new rules, workers will have the right to more predictability in their working conditions, for instance regarding assignments and working time. They will also have the right to receive timely and more complete information about the essential aspects of their job, such as place of work and remuneration. This marks an important step for a strong social Europe and contributes to turning the European Pillar of Social Rights into a tangible reality for people across the EU. Full press release here.

(27/07) Erasmus+: 44 European Universities to cooperate across borders and disciplines. Today, the Commission has announced the results of the 2022 call for the European Universities initiative: with a record budget of €272 million from Erasmus+, 16 existing European Universities will continue to receive support, and four new alliances will be able to start their cooperation. Together with the 24 alliances selected in 2020, a total of 44 European Universities now involve 340 higher education institutions in capital cities and remote regions of 31 countries. European Universities are alliances of higher education institutions from across Europe that cooperate on education, research and innovation for the benefit of students, educators and society. Full press release here. 

(18/07) Team Europe’s Official Development Assistance reaches €70.2 billion in 2021. The EU and its 27 Member States continued increasing their Official Development Assistance (ODA) for partner countries around the world to €70.2 billion in 2021, as confirmed by the Annual Report to the European Council on EU Development Aid Targets approved by the Council today. This represents a 4.3% increase in nominal terms and the equivalent to 0.49% of collective Gross National Income (GNI), according to preliminary figures published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC). The EU and its Member States, working together as Team Europe, thereby confirm their position as the world’s leading donor, providing 43% of global ODA. They are determined to meet their collective commitment to provide at least 0.7% of collective GNI as ODA by 2030. This will contribute to the successful implementation of the Global Gateway strategy. Full press release here.

(15/07) Joint press release: Strengthening cooperation in the fight against migrant smuggling: the European Union and Niger launch operational partnership to tackle migrant smuggling. Today, the European Union and Niger are strengthening their cooperation with the launch of an operational partnership to tackle migrant smuggling. Joint efforts under this partnership will help to save lives, disrupt the business model used by criminal networks, prevent migrants from becoming victims of violence and exploitation and protect their fundamental rights. Full press release here.

(8/07) Joint press release: European Commission and Morocco launch renewed partnership on migration and tackling human smuggling networks. As part of the regular political dialogue between the Kingdom of Morocco and the EU, the Commissioner with responsibility for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and the Spanish Home Affairs Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, met with the Moroccan Minister of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, in Rabat on 8 July 2022. They highlighted the solid results of their cooperation based on shared responsibility in matters of migration, and agreed to renew their partnership in order to work together to tackle human smuggling networks, in particular following the emergence of new, extremely violent, methods adopted by such criminal networks. Full press release here.

(28/07) Central African Republic: Council extends the mandates of the civilian advisory mission and the military training mission. The Council adopted two decisions concerning the European Union CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) missions in the Central African Republic: the civilian advisory mission EUAM RCA, and the military training mission EUTM RCA. The decisions follow the holistic strategic review of the two missions and extend their mandates, until 9 August 2024 in the case of the civilian mission EUAM RCA, and until 20 September 2023 for the military one EUTM RCA. For EUAM RCA, the Council foresees a financial reference amount for the common costs of € 28 400 000 and a reference amount of € 7 813 000 for the EUTM RCA. The Council decided to maintain the strategic objectives of EUAM RCA, and to focus the mandate of EUTM RCA on the provision of strategic advice and accompanying education measures. This will support the functioning of the Ministry of Defence and the creation of a capable leadership education system. The Council also decided to widen the mandates of the two missions so as to include activities in support of the strategic communication efforts to foster EU values, promote EU action and expose violations of Human rights and International Humanitarian Law by foreign forces in the Central African Republic. Full press release here.

(17/07) European Peace Facility: Council adopts an assistance measure to support the Nigerien Armed Forces. The Council today adopted, under the European Peace Facility (EPF), an assistance measure worth €25 million to the benefit of the Republic of Niger. The objective of this assistance measure is to strengthen the capabilities and resilience of the Nigerien Armed Forces in order to enable them to defend the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the country and to better protect the civilian population against the mounting terrorist threat. Niger plays a major role in initiatives aimed at strengthening peace and development in the Sahel, including the EU’s Integrated Strategy in the Sahel, the Sahel Coalition and the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S), as well as the Sahel Alliance. By means of this assistance measure, the EU is delivering on its commitment within the framework of these initiatives. Full press release here.

(6/07) EU support to the African Union Mission in Somalia: Council approves further support under the European Peace Facility. Following the adoption by the Council in April 2021 of an assistance measure taking the form of a general programme for support to the African Union in 2022-2024 under the European Peace Facility (EPF), the Political and Security Committee today approved additional support for the military component of the African Union Mission in Somalia/African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (AMISOM/ATMIS). In 2022 the EU will add €120 million to the resources previously mobilised for AMISOM/ATMIS in 2021.

The agreed support will mostly contribute to the troop allowances of the African soldiers deployed, to enable the mission to effectively carry out its mandate. Full press release here.

(7/07) CoR – New European Innovation Agenda sets increased focus on promoting territorial cohesion. ​With the New European Innovation Agenda, the European Commission wants to position Europe as a leading player on the global innovation scene, capable to develop new technologies to address the most pressing societal challenges. The European Committee of the Regions welcomes that the ​communication published on 5 July puts an important focus on closing the innovation divide between EU regions and reinforcing the links between regional smart specialization strategies, Horizon Europe and other funding mechanisms. Full press release here.

(27/07) The Intercultural Cities programme is happy to offer a number of new and improved online trainings. The courses which are now available in a new format and open to all aim to introduce the topics, explain why they are important for an intercultural city and offer practical guidance on how to take the topics into account in the day-to-day work of the local authority. During the fall a new online training on intercultural competence will also be available. Full press release here.

(19/07) A comprehensive policy approach for intercultural integration at the national level. Adopted by the Steering Committee on Anti-Discrimination, Diversity, and Inclusion (CDADI) in June 2021, the Model Framework for an intercultural integration strategy at the national level is the first international guidance providing a basis for national intercultural integration strategies grounded on human rights standards. The purpose of the Model Framework is to guide national policy practitioners in their efforts to design integration policies which help build inclusive and cohesive societies for everyone. Full press release here.

(24/08) EUROCITIES – Cities seek to fund migration. It doesn’t matter if the city is big or small, they all face significant challenges when trying to secure European funding. When it comes to funding to welcome, settle, and integrate migrants, cities face red tape, bureaucracy, strict deadlines and there’s a lot of leg work involved. Often cities don’t have enough staff to aggregate all the information required in the calls for tender, or staff with sufficient experience. the process is long and complicated, very demanding, not to mention that even when funding is secure, cities face difficulties in maintaining projects and initiatives in the long term. Full press release here.

(28/07) EUROCITIES – Warsaw sees refugees’ potential. Over 3 million Ukrainian refugees have crossed the Polish borders since the war started. In just three weeks, over 100,000 registered in Warsaw to receive assistance and enjoy special legislation equalising their rights with any other citizen. For example, they have access to social security, the labour market, and health care. However, over 700,000 refugees decided to stay in Warsaw. Most of them were invited to stay with family or friends, others were offered a home by citizens willing to host those in need. The city has also organised 2,000 places in shelters and reception centres with a plan to increase them to 6,000. Full press release here.

(22/07) Eurodiaconia – The new Funding Toolkit is ready for you! Eurodiaconia Funding Toolkit has been updated with new information and a new design! The Funding Toolkit 2022 is an instrument for members to easily access the funding information they are looking for. The toolkit is focused on European funding instruments and foundations, but also includes more general information on funding. We have divided the Toolkit into three main categories: Basics of fundraising, EU funding, and Foundations. These categories have three sub-categories that give users more information about each topic. Full press release here.

(18/07) PICUM – Migrant smuggling: why we need a paradigm shift. Common narratives describe migrant smugglers as ruthless “criminals who take advantage of people’s vulnerability and naïveté”. Counter-smuggling policies – often based on limited empirical data and several misconceptions – focus on cracking down on smuggling through more policing and criminal sanctions. While they often refer to the violence that migrants suffer from the hands of smugglers, very little attention is paid to the major harm done by counter-smuggling policies themselves. More importantly, little attention is paid to the reasons why people decide to turn to smugglers – notably, the lack of any opportunities for many people to move and cross borders in a regular manner. As a consequence, several of these policies end up harming migrant communities and those who support them. This can happen in three main ways. Full press release here.

(14/07) Eurodiaconia – European Parliament adopts Report on Women’s Poverty in Europe. During the July plenary in Strasbourg, the European Parliament adopted the report on Women’s Poverty in Europe. The report addresses the reality that women continue to be disproportionately affected by poverty and social exclusion compared to men, which has only been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In relation to employment, women’s poverty is linked to discrimination as gender stereotypes influence the division of labor at home, in education, in the workplace and society with women often occupying undervalued and underpaid (if paid at all) positions in these sectors. Notably, women from Roma or migrant backgrounds, women with disabilities or belonging to religious or ethnic minorities face additional discrimination when accessing education, healthcare, employment and social services leading to an elevated risk of poverty and social exclusion. Full press release here.

(12/07) EUROCITIES – Leipzig deals with the many challenges of welcoming refugees. “In response to the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the European Union has responded quickly, in a coordinated manner and consistent with democratic and humanitarian values,” said Thomas Fabian, Deputy Mayor of Leipzig, on the influx of Ukrainian refugees towards the EU and the efforts of the whole continent in welcoming them. Fabian hopes that both his city and the EU will “see this as a window of opportunity to ensure that all refugees, regardless of their origin and religion, the colour of skin, gender, or sexual orientation are receiving the same chances and have the same rights in all European countries.” Leipzig, a city with just over 600,000 inhabitants, has welcomed 9,000 Ukrainians. They have settled and integrated as part of a great effort by the city, its public servants, and civil society. Many of the refugees asked for social security assistance as asylum seekers. Data shows that about 75% of them are female and 35% are under the age of 18. In total, until January 2022, the city had approximately 11,500 refugees from all over the world; 8,500 of them already registered in the system for basic security, that is, with their asylum granted and 3,000 still waiting. Full press release here.