In January, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission jointly organised the launch of the Commission's new toolkit to help Member States strengthen the integration of people with migrant backgrounds by making more efficient and coordinated use of available EU funding instruments.
The toolkit contains practical recommendations for national and regional funding authorities on how to choose from and best combine the various EU funds accessible under the current 2014-2020 budget period.
The aim is to foster the inclusion of over 20 million third-country nationals who are living in the EU legally, but continue to face a plethora of challenges and discrimination.
As was highlighted at the launch event, as many as 40% of them are at risk of poverty, while 18% are unemployed and 19% leave school early, which is almost double the EU average.
"The EU has to show humanism and solidarity. Migrants aren't to be seen as a burden. If they are properly integrated, they will be a great boon, not only to our economies but to our society as a whole," said EESC President Georges Dassis. (ll)
On the photo: Corina Crețu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Cristian Pîrvulescu, EESC member, and Georges Dassis, EESC President