Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Governance and citizenship

​Refugee crisis - 09.02.2016

How can towns and regions manage the integration of refugees? Here you have a list of key EU funds
Since the beginning of the refugee crisis, local governments - from small towns to big cities, provinces, counties and regions - have provided urgently refugees with shelters, food, health services and social assistance, often without support and proper coordination with the national authorities. 

At a time when European local governments are relocating 160 000 refugees, they are wondering what resources would be available to ensure their integration and social inclusion.

In order to answer that question, the Brussels association of local governments (AVCB-VSGB) published an article listing the different European programs and calls for projects available for towns and cities.*  

What will you find in this list?

With an overall budget (2014-2020) of 3.137 million euro, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) represents the main program for the management of migration flows and the implementation of a common asylum policy, integration and migration policy. 

However, several other EU funds can be used by towns and cities to support the integration of refugees and migrants: 

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), particularly focused on housing and urban development, supports the integration process of refugees through the investment on educational infrastructure and urban regeneration in areas in which are concentrated migrants and refugees. More than 20 billion euro is allocated for 2014-2020 to these inclusive growth measures.  

Local governments may also receive limited support from the European Social Fund (ESF), to improve the employment opportunities of the refugees and migrants living in the Union.

In a resolution adopted during its Policy Committee in December 2015, CEMR defended that beyond funding mechanisms, it is essential to further develop a partnership principle and co-decision spirit between the EU, national, local and regional governments within the different existing institutional structures of decision-making in this field.

*Though the section on the European Structural and Investments Funds may be specific to the Brussels-Capital Region, the selection of other EU programs is relevant for all European local governments. 
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