Background Brief: UNITES Project – UrbaN InTEgration Strategies through co-design

Led by Eurocities, UNITES – UrbaN InTEgration Strategies through co-design – trains and accompanies local authorities to co-design integration strategies with other stakeholders and migrants.

UNITES aims to:

  • improve integration outcomes by co-designing integration strategies with stakeholders, citizens and vulnerable migrants
  • train integration practitioners in managing co-design processes through different forms of learning and exchange of good practices
  • foster the participation of citizens, including migrants but also vulnerable migrants in the co-design of integration strategy
  • raise awareness of the advantages of a “whole of society approach” to integration.

The project’s first stage is developing training on co-designing integration strategies, incorporating research on best practices across Europe. A pilot version of the training will be conducted with staff from the 8 cities participating in the project. The training will then be developed into an open access online course (MOOC) for integration practitioners outside the project.

In the second stage, the 8 city partners receive a €20,000 grant to set up a new mechanism for stakeholder consultation and develop their local integration strategy through co-design with stakeholders and migrants. In planning and implementing their actions, they will receive guidance from colleagues from other cities and migrant organisations in peer workshops and peer visits to each city.

Read more on the Project Website

Background Brief: RIDE Project – Reach Inclusion Through Digital Empowerment For Migrant Women

RIDE is a 2-year project co-funded by the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), looking to advance the inclusion of migrant and refugee women in the digital labour market in five EU countries. The tools of the project include specially designed training courses, mentoring, job fairs and networking opportunities to give migrant and refugee women the possibility to re-skill or upskill and find jobs in the digital sector.


Background Brief: MILE Project – Migrant Integration through Locally designed Experiences

MILE stands for Migrant Integration through Locally designed Experiences and is about empowering the local community as a whole, including migrant communities. MILE is a two-year project co-funded through the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and involves partners in six European countries: Belgium, Greece, Latvia, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK.

MILE is based on the idea that policy-making – especially at the local level – should be a co-creation process that reflects the diverse population of cities and gives migrants a say. By involving municipalities, migrant groups, and research teams across Europe, MILE aims to empower migrants and refugees and help to build lasting connections between migrant groups and local governments in Europe.

For this, MILE will produce research-based and locally-tailored responses that can address the current needs and priorities of municipalities and migrant communities. The participation tools developed by partnering research teams, municipalities, and migrant-led organisations aim to serve as a springboard for deeper social, economic, and political inclusion in the long term.

EMEN 2nd ANNUAL EVENT: Innovative financing solutions for migrant entrepreneurs? Cross your own borders!

On the 20th of June 2019, UNITEE will be participating to the 2nd annual event of the EMEN – EUROPEAN MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURSHIP NETWORK (EMEN) project.

An event without long speeches instead brief, thought provoking talks, a thriving market where innovations are shown, pitches, interactive workshops, debates, and inspiring encounters. With others exploring how best access to finance for migrant entrepreneurs can be ensured.

The 20th June, at the premises of the Hague University of Applied Sciences, in the Hague you have the chance to meet others who might inspire you, or with whom you want to cooperate. Or just listen and reflect.

The Conference will try to give some answers to questions such as:

Are starting migrant entrepreneurs really that different from native entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurs without a migrant background)? Do we need to treat them as a special target group? Do we have to set up special schemes to finance their new businesses? Businesses that for sure will be helpful to them to participate in society, to break out of exclusion, to add value to society. Or do they also have their own ways of mobilizing finance?

We are creating a space to meet, talk, converse, investigate and discuss:

how migrant entrepreneurs might finance their new ventures
how they can make use of existing formal and informal financing mechanisms
how they can make use of mainstream facilities
how special mechanisms might be relevant, needed and desirable.
how start-up programmes can support migrants in finding finance
A place to build up new networks as well!

UNITEE participates in the 5th European Migration Forum, 3-4th April 2019

On 3rd and 4th April 2019, UNITEE participated in the 5th  European Migration Forum – the dialogue platform on migration, asylum and migrant integration – organized around the theme ” From global to local governance of migration. The role of local authorities and civil society in managing migration and ensuring safe and regular pathways to the EU”.

The EMF is a platform for dialogue between civil society and the European institutions, on issues relating to migration, asylum and the integration of third-country nationals. It brings together, at least once a year, representatives of civil society organisations, local and regional authorities, Member States and EU institutions.

The aim of the EMF is to enhance coordination and cooperation between key players involved in the multilevel European governance of migration. The EMF aims at providing more information on the latest policy developments but also to gather information on how European policies are implemented at regional, local and grass-root levels; it should help improve the understanding of the main challenges that civil society organisations and social partners face in the field and identify ways to better support them in their efforts to address migrants’ needs.

UNITEE’s President Adem Kumcu participated in the event as the new European member of the European Migration Forum Bureau.




Workshop on migrant entrepreneurship at EESC

The workshop happened in occasion of the launch of the 2016 Report on Immigration and Entrepreneurship, published by CNA and IDOS Research and Study Center with the support of Moneygram. The report, analysing in depth the determining factors  immigrant entrepreneurship in Italy and in the European context, is one of the first pieces of research of its kind. It shows a clear trend towards the growth of migrant-owned enterprises in Italy: not only 10% of all enterprises are migrant owned, but they have grown by 21% between 2011 and 2015, while the total number of companies has decreased by 0.9% in the same amount of time. On the other hand, migrant-owned enterprises still suffer from some specific challenges, ranging from their small size to their short lifetime spans, when compared to native-owned companies.

These issues and many more were discussed at the roundtable, which saw the participation of a series of NGOs, policy makers and institutions actively working on the field of migrant entrepreneurship. The event was an occasion for the exchange of best practices and the comparison between different realities in the EU, ranging from the local level, represented by some representatives of cities and regions, to the European Commission’s DG HOME.

The list of speakers at the event included:

  • Gkofas Panagiotis, EESC SMEs and Craft Category, President European SMEs Academy Avignon
  • George Dassis, President of EESC
  • Giuseppe Oliviero, Vice President CNA
  • Ugo Melchionda, IDOS Research Centre
  • Laura Corrado, Head of Unit B1 for Legal Migration and Integration- DG HOME, Cabinet, European Commission
  • Arnold De Boer, UEAPME

For more information, it is possible to find a summary of the report here.