4.14.4.1 Individual integration plans

Some Member States amended the process of establishing and implementing individual integration plans and pathways for beneficiaries of international protection. 

The integration process of beneficiaries of international protection was adjusted in Lithuania. An individual integration plan is proposed to each beneficiary while they are still accommodated at the Refugee Reception Centre. The plan is updated once beneficiaries settle in a municipality in cooperation with the municipal body responsible for integration. The support services are tailored to each person’s specific needs and financial support is defined according to the person’s progress and personal efforts.1131 An AMIF-funded project, “Enhancing the competence of municipalities in providing services to third-country nationals”, was launched to strengthen municipality competences and resources for integration.

The amendment of 15 April 2021 to the Social Assistance Act granted the right to individual integration programmes for beneficiaries of international protection who are married to Polish citizens.1132 The amendment also facilitates the administrative requirements to enrol by providing an address rather than requiring participants to officially register at the place of their residence. The registration requirement was proven to be rather challenging for beneficiaries of international protection, and landlords were reluctant to let them officially register.1133 
In Croatia, a new 3-year project for the integration of refugees into Croatian society was approved by the Directorate for European Affairs, International Relations and European Union Funds in early March 2020. The project "New Neighbours - Inclusion of persons under international protection in Croatian society” was launched in Croatia in April 2020. The AMIF-funded project is being implemented by the Centre for Culture of Dialogue, a Croatian civil society organisation.

The Norwegian government passed a law which provides the possibility to increase the length of introduction programmes and training by 6 months, to balance the consequences of the pandemic. 

The Swedish government decided to finance the extension of labour market integration programmes for 12 months to support people whose programme would finish in the midst of the pandemic which would likely decrease their chances to find employment.1134 The OECD found that initial data suggested that refugees and their family members did not show higher incidences of unemployment or non-employment while the overall unemployment rate was increasing in Sweden. Data from other countries, like Austria and Germany, showed that the increase of unemployment rates for nationals from the main countries of origin of refugees was three times higher than for nationals. The OECD noted that the surprising Swedish trend was possibly a result of the extension of support programmes, including wage subsidy schemes.1135 In April 2021, the Swedish Public Employment Service starts rolling out the “Intensive Year” programme for newly-arrived beneficiaries of international protection, which aims to get participants in employment within a year after the completion of the comprehensive, full-time integration programme.1136 

The “Support measures for beneficiaries of international protection (refugees and persons with alternative status), reception and accommodation in Latvia” continued in 2020 with funding from AMIF, providing integration courses, Latvian language courses, as well as cultural, sports and recreational events and events fostering intercultural communication and co-operation with the local community. Following their establishment in 2016 with AMIF support, Information Centres for Newcomers (ICI) continued to operate in five different locations to help newcomers with administration and daily life.

JRS Romania implemented a support project for persons with tolerated status, with assistance from the General Inspectorate of Immigration.1137 

 

[1131] Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania | Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybės kanceliarija. (2020, October 7). Prieglobstį Lietuvoje gavę užsieniečiai bus labiau skatinami integruotis ir mokytis lietuvių kalbos [Foreigners who have been granted asylum in Lithuania will be better encouraged to integrate and learn Lithuanian language]. https://lrv.lt/lt/naujienos/prieglobsti-lietuvoje-gave-uzsienieciai-bus-labiau-skatinami-integruotis-ir-mokytis-lietuviu-kalbos ; European Web Site on Integration. (2020, October 7). Lithuanian Government approves adjustments to integration encouragement scheme. https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/news/lithuanian-government-approves-adjustments-to-integration-encouragement-scheme
[1132] Ustawa z dnia 15 kwietnia 2021 r. o zmianie ustawy o pomocy społecznej oraz ustawy o zmianie ustawy o pomocy społecznej oraz ustawy o ochronie zdrowia psychicznego [Act of 15 April 2021 amending the Act on social assistance and the act amending the Act on social assistance and the act on mental health protection], 29 April 2021,  https://isap.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20210000803/O/D20210803.pdf
[1133] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, November 30). Poland: Individual integration programmes for refugees married to Polish nationals. https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/news/poland-individual-integration-programmes-for-refugees-married-to-polish-nationals
[1134] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, March 30). Coping with COVID-19 in Sweden – Labour market integration programmes prolonged. https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/news/coping-with-covid-19-in-sweden-labour-market-integration-programmes-prolonged
[1135] Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. (2020, October 19). What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigrants and their children? https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/what-is-the-impact-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-on-immigrants-and-their-children-e7cbb7de/
[1136] European Web Site on Integration. (2020, October 15). Sweden: Intensive Year programme facilitates integration and employment. https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/news/sweden-intensive-year-programme-facilitates-integration-and-employment
[1137] Jesuit Refugee Service Romania. (2020, January 28). Comunicat de Presă [Press Release]. https://www.jrsromania.org/post/comunicat-de-pres%C4%83

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