With its fourth phase of funding, EPIM further develops as a collaborative programme and establishes sub-funds allowing for flexible grant-making in more concrete, targeted topic and geographic areas, timely responding to opportunities and threats in the field of migration and integration.
EPIM moves away from the three-year cycle of calls for proposals and, instead, opens calls for proposals on a rolling basis. Funding will be provided in the following areas, with openness for additional sub-funds to be introduced in the future:
Sub-fund on immigration detention
A pilot phase of the sub-fund on immigration detention has already been launched in 2015 and supports nine civil society projects in the focus countries Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece for an initial project phase of 12 months (September 2015 - August 2016). The sub-fund aims to support civil society in seizing opportunities to advocate for:
- Reducing the use of detention to a tool of last resort only: Improve court control and judicial oversight of the detention process and/or use targeted strategic litigation at the national level, as means of reducing its use;
- Increasing transparency and accountability: Improve monitoring and accountability of detention practice, in particular through improving access to detention facilities for NGOs and documenting practices;
- Promoting alternatives to detention: Implement training and campaigning activities that promote alternatives to detention. Particularly, raise awareness about the detention of children and advocate for alternatives.
In a second phase of the sub-fund, EPIM will put emphasis on promoting grantees’ networking and capacity building efforts, linking efforts at national level with the EU policy agenda and fostering Pan-European exchange. Further, the current pilot grant scheme will be expanded and scaled up after the end of the projects in August 2016.
Sub-fund on reforms of the Common European Asylum System
EPIM is currently exploring the potential to redefine the objectives and scale up the activities tested in a pilot sub-fund convening process, which has aimed to nurture a new cadre of thought leadership within the advocacy community that has come together to forge ideas for potential reforms of the EU policy on asylum and international protection.
In the 2015 pilot phase, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Europe and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) have worked together with a group of selected CSO experts to identify potential opportunities to improve protection for asylum seekers within Europe, and design concrete proposals that can be communicated effectively to policy-makers at both national and EU level.
EPIM aims to continue the convening of experts in the sector for joint strategising in a setting that allows for out-of-the-box thinking and peer-to-peer learning. Additionally to this process, grants will be awarded to support the evidence gathering on issues of concern when advocating for reforms of the CEAS.
Sub-fund on long-term reception and inclusion of unaccompanied minors seeking protection in the EU
With this sub-fund, a wide group of European foundations aim to support civil society organisations and public bodies/authorities seeking to address policy and practice issues arising from increasing arrivals of unaccompanied minors in Europe, and the struggle for communities to provide adequate reception conditions as well as long-term solutions for their inclusion.
With a multi-level, bottom-up approach, EPIM intends to:
- Support civil society organisations and networks of organisations involved in the process at local, regional and national level to address child supportive reception (includes reception facilities and multi-dimensional services) and the transition into adulthood (support of UAM after turning 18, incl. transition of status, education and labour market integration);
- Develop the capacities and networks of civil society organisations and public bodies/authorities at national and Pan-European level with links to countries of origin and transit, in order to foster strong advocates and support systems for UAMs;
- Foster advocacy towards EU institutions, aiming at Member States’ compliance with common standards, harmonising Member States’ policies and practices as well as adjusting EU funding priorities;
- Contribute to a reliable data basis on issues such as: numbers of children concerned; shared risks and opportunities of UAMs and other child populations moving within and across Europe; prevention of family separation; migration motivations of children; capacity and needs (including financial needs) of systems to adequately support UAMs and other child populations sharing similar risk profiles;
- Address the particular difficulties concerning non-asylum seeking UAMs who often go missing in the systems and are of particular concern for transit countries such as Italy and Greece.
Focus countries of this sub-fund to be implemented in the course of 2016 will be Italy, Greece, Germany, Belgium and potentially Spain.
Sub-fund on mobile EU citizens’ access to housing and social benefits
The question of EU citizens’ mobility is becoming ever more sensitive. Continuous focus on threat and developments regarding this issue is crucial as freedom of movement constitutes the basis of EU integration. Homelessness for EU migrants is a deep concern for cities, particularly at a time when essential services are being cut, and access to public services is being limited for non-nationals.
The sub-fund, which is currently in the planning phase, so far aims to support civil society to advocate to:
- Reverse the trend towards restrictive interpretation of the Citizens Directive in Member State law, policy and practice;
- Increase the extent to which mobile EU Citizens secure access to their entitlements and access to redress, through effective accountability mechanisms where denied;
- Increase the capacity of NGOs, individually and through collaboration, to engage in strategic litigation, evidence gathering, advocacy and awareness raising on these issues.