29 October 2019

EFC Diversity, Migration and Integration network and EPIM joint meeting – Addressing Irregularity

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The EFC’s Diversity, Migration and Integration (DMI) thematic network and European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) are organising a joint meeting on “Addressing Irregularity”, hosted by the Adessium Foundation in The Hague on 29 October.

The DMI network aims to bring together EFC members to share and learn from one another and to identify potential issues of common interest. Every autumn, the DMI network organises a peer-learning meeting to understand the latest evidence on trends throughout Europe and their implications for foundations working on migration and integration, whether this be at a local, national or European levels. EPIM is a collaborative funding initiative of 25 grantmaking foundations, with the goal of strengthening the role of civil society in building inclusive communities and in developing humane and sustainable responses to migration. The DMI network and EPIM are joining forces to focus on the impact of, and possible solutions to, the situation of irregular migrants in Europe.

The programme will include several opportunities for open discussion, and participants will also learn about the local, national and European contexts through site visits. Time will be dedicated to exchanging on foundations’ priorities; current, upcoming or planned work; and emerging issues in relation to migration and integration.

Irregularity can affect migrants who have recently arrived in Europe and whose asylum applications have been rejected, but also those who have been living in Europe for longer periods of time and who have lost the right to reside, or even persons who were born in Europe and never obtained papers.

In 2017, more than 618,000 persons were living in Europe without a regular status, meaning that they do not fulfil or no longer fulfil the conditions of entry, stay or residence of the territory1. These numbers could potentially be much higher given the fluid nature of irregularity, which contributes to a lack of reliable and up-to-date statistics.

Persons affected by irregularity face limited access to basic rights, which can leave them trapped in a situation of destitution and legal limbo. However, in many cases, return is not feasible. As such, there is an urgent need for pragmatic solutions which go beyond the current focus on deterrence and enforcement.

Addressing irregularity can contribute to the empowerment of migrants and their families, limit their vulnerability to exploitation, and reduce inequality and social exclusion within society. The joint meeting of the DMI and EPIM will explore concrete pathways for addressing and preventing irregularity in a non-punitive way, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups such as children and families.

The meeting is open to funders active and/or interested in migration and integration issues. DMI participants who are also EPIM members, are invited to attend the EPIM Steering Committee meeting that takes place on the next day (30 October).

Please contact Sevda Kilicalp or Stephan Burger, or visit the event website for any further information you might need.