EUROCITIES Working Group on Migration and Integration met in Antwerp on 13-14 June, back to back with the UIA workshop on 'the role of cities in the integration of migrants and refugees'.
Integration of young migrants through access to housing
In the light of the site visit of the UIA project visited, the working group meeting started by giving the opportunity to members to reflect on success factors and challenges of the Antwerp project.
The CURANT project (Cohousing and case management for Unaccompanied young adult Refugees in ANTwerp) provides a holistic support to refugees and migrants aged between 17 and 22 years old including housing, training programmes, psychological support. Refugees and Flemish “buddy” are living together in a shared apartment and aim to exchange and learn from each other.
After learning in practice about innovative solutions to better integrated migrants and refugees in the local community, members - 11 cities representatives - have built capacity to learn, transfer and possibly replicate some of the inspiring practices of the CURANT project.
Project and policies to better integrate migrants and refugees at local, European and international levels
The second part of the working group meeting provided opportunity for member to get to know more about different projects such as :
“Your global future” project developed by Antwerp for stimulating entrepreneurship for seekers of international protection in the region of destination and origin.
“Atlas”, a non-profit organisation, responsible for implementing the Flemish integration policy on behalf of the City of Antwerp .
“Reach out project” by Fedasil dealing with the challenges of voluntary return for undocumented migrants
We also discussed policies and programmes set up at European and international levels for helping to secure refugees and migrants’ situation: the global three-year strategy on resettlement and complementary pathways put in place by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Rabat process with the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) as well as the inclusion of Muslim communities and prevention of discrimination in cities with DG JSUT of the European Commission.
Members had an overall discussion on the last European elections, the European Semester, and the ReSOMA consultation on how can the EU foster a comprehensive approach to integration at the local level.