Strengthening migrants’ participation in decision-making and integration policies

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Α dynamic, intercultural society implies that all of its members are actively involved in the decision-making processes that concern their communities and their future. Migrants and refugees should be given a fair share in these processes, as they are the people who are most directly and profoundly affected by the decisions and integration policies implemented at a local, regional and national level.

Τhe European project MigrantVoicesHeard unites organisations from different geographical regions of the EU, who have identified common problems related to the underrepresentation of migrants in the local decision-making, in order to promote refugee and migrant participation in the design and implementation of integration policies, in the key areas of education, employment, housing and health.

The project aims to support the setting up and strengthening of migrant councils at local and regional level in six EU countries in close collaboration with public administrations, to promote the exchange of experiences between local and regional public authorities about the involvement of migrants in the design and implementation of integration policies, and to enhance the capacity of local and regional authorities to effectively consult migrants on policies that directly affect them.

Recognizing migrant councils as agents of change that voice the needs of migrant communities, the MigrantVoicesHeard project will support the establishment of five new migrant councils in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Greece and France, and the activation of one migrant council in Italy, that will regularly consult more than 5,000 migrants living in these places on policies that concern them. The development of these councils will be based on good practices that have been identified, and in particular on the model implemented in the City of Graz in Austria, which has an active migrant advisory board representing about 36,000 immigrants from non-EU countries.

The project will lead to enhanced transnational cooperation among public and private actors in adopting the existing good practices of migrant participation in policy-making. At the same time, over 1 million migrants are expected benefit in the long-term, as their needs will be addressed in policy proposals brought forward by the created and strengthened migrant consultative bodies, and the existing integration policies will be implemented with migrants’ active participation.

The project is funded with the support of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union and is implemented in Austria, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Romania, by the following organizations: WCIF (BG), Suedwind (AU), Mission Wings (BG), ASSFAM (FR), KMOP – Social action and Innovation Centre (GR), ActionAid (IT), Szjubektiv (HU) and PATRIR (RO). Local and regional governments – the Municipality of Stara Zagora in Bulgaria, the Municipality of Neapolis-Sykeon in Greece and the Regional Government of Campania in Italy – will also be involved in the initiative.

For further information about the MigrantVoicesHeard project and our next actions please contact us at mvh-project@kmop.org.

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