The EU faces significant labour shortages in certain sectors, which have the potential to limit growth and competitiveness – a challenge to become more pressing due to Europe’s aging demographic profile. While legal channels for skilled migrants offer a solution, attracting them to come and settle in the EU goes hand in hand with tackling the challenges of the refugee crisis. More efforts are needed to integrate the 20 million non-EU nationals residing legally in the EU.
The new INTEGRA project, the lead partner of which is of Sofia Development Association, aims to help the process of long-term integration of third country nationals in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy and Slovakia through city-to-city knowledge and experience sharing.
The project partners SDA, Riskmonitor Foundation - Sofia, Integration Center Prague, Research Center on Security and Crime – Italy, Center for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights – Osijek, Croatia and ETP – Kosice, Slovakia met in Sofia from February 21 to 23rd, 2018, for their first project meeting. The consortium team combines vast expertise: in research (RISSC and RiskMonitor), in minority and TCN integration (IPC, ETP), in human rights and campaigns (Center for Peace), in urban policies (SDA). The partners agreed on how to work together effectively, on the approach, roles and their shared idea of success. The methodologies for the innovative City Integration Audits as a participative tool for city integration performance were also discussed.
The INTEGRA project has received funding from EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.