Written by Ana Martinez,
Over the last few years, Europe has seen a significant increase in the number of migrants arriving at its borders. The European Commission’s 2016 action plan on the integration of third-country nationals has highlighted the resources that are available from the European structural and investment funds to support the integration process, with potential measures covering education, housing, health, social inclusion and labour market related investments.
Although migration is predominantly an urban phenomenon, opportunities are available within the framework of the European Union’s rural development policy to assist local rural communities with the new situation. Several rural communities have launched projects to support migrants arriving in rural areas, illustrating the role that civil society and local municipalities, associations and bodies can play in the migrant integration process.
A number of rural development organisations have pointed out the potential assistance that rural areas can offer migrants, whose arrival could play a role in revitalising areas suffering from under-population and/or economic decline. The European Parliament has emphasised the importance of providing support for migrants’ social inclusion and integration into the labour market. Addressing migration is also included in the European Commission’s work programme for 2017.
Read the complete briefing on ‘EU rural development policy and the integration of migrants‘.
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