One country reformed its national forms of protection, while some others introduced measures to regularise the situation of some specific groups who do not qualify for international protection, mainly targeting to settle the situation of rejected minor applicants. The new legislation in Italy abrogated one of the national forms of protection called humanitarian protection and introduced instead the special protection residence permit for persons who cannot be expelled based on non-refoulement obligations. It also created different types of new residence permits to be granted in very specific circumstances: victims of domestic violence, victims of labour exploitation, people suffering from exceptionally serious medical conditions and cannot be treated in their country of origin, people who cannot return to their country of origin due to exceptional natural disasters and people carrying out exceptional civil acts.687 The Government in Malta established the Specific Residence Authorisation (SRA) policy, replacing the former Temporary Humanitarian Protection New (THPN) policy. SRA may be granted to rejected applicants who have been residing in Malta for at least five years and have been in employment for an extensive period and have been actively contributing to the Maltese society. SRA holders receive a residence permit for two years and have access to employment, core welfare benefits, state education and state medical care.688 The amendment of the Temporary Act in Sweden allowed UAMs, whose asylum application was rejected, to apply under certain conditions for a residence permit for studies at upper secondary schools. The last day for applications was 30 September 2018.689 Two new forms of leaves were created in the UK for children transferred to the country: one leave is linked to transfers under Section 67 of the Immigration Act690, the other is granted to children who were transferred after the clearance of the Calais camp.691 The final Regulation for long-term resident children came into force in the Netherlands – also known as children’s pardon - which allowed a specific group of rejected minor applicants and their family members to request a residence permit before 25 February 2019.692
The international protection status may be reviewed and withdrawn in a wider range of circumstances, even though UNHCR underlined that it has been consistently advocating for a secure and stable status for beneficiaries of international protection that might should not be subject to regular and frequent reviews and for going beyond the withdrawal grounds of the 1951 Convention.693
The amended CESEDA in France requires the OFPRA to obligatorily withdraw international protection under certain criteria, after an individual assessment is carried out on whether these criteria are met.694 The Danish Immigration Service changed its criteria for assessing the circumstances for cessation, making it possible to revoke the residence permit granted to refugees and their family members in a wider range of cases. Refugees and their family members are entitled to reside abroad for a shorter period of time: their residence permits expire after six months of residence outside of Denmark. The Danish Immigration Service is now also responsible to initiate the process of automatically reviewing the residence permit, when the permit expires.695 The amended Asylum Act in Slovakia clarified the cessation grounds and added that international protection can also be ceased when a beneficiary of international protection acquires the citizenship of another EU Member State or if another EU Member State had also granted protection (at least on the same level). The protection status of family members reunited with a beneficiary of international protection also ceases, when another state grants them a residence permit without any time limit.696 The law amendments in Italy extended the list of crimes which may form the basis of revoking international protection.697 The amended Asylum Act (AsylG) in Germany introduced the duty to cooperate for beneficiaries of international protection in the framework of the status review and eventual withdrawal procedure. The BFA in Austria is now allowed to initiate and carry out in an accelerated manner the procedure for withdrawing the international protection status when there are indications suggesting that the beneficiary has voluntarily re-availed themselves of protection of the country of origin, has voluntarily re-acquired their former nationality or voluntarily re-established themselves in the country of origin. These indications now explicitly include cases when a beneficiary enters the country of origin or apply for and is issued a passport of the country of origin or when the beneficiary takes up gainful employment or start a business in the country of origin.698 The BFA has also identified withdrawal procedures as one of the major policy priorities for 2018: it initiated 6000 withdrawal procedures in 2018 (four times increase from 2017) and it withdrew the international protection status in 1600 cases (three times increase from 2017). The authority continues with this focus in 2019 as well. The policy note from the former State Secretary for Asylum and Migration in Belgium has re-confirmed the temporary character of the protection statuses and identified as a policy priority status reviews and the cessation of the status, especially when the security situation in the country of origin has improved in a durable manner. He also urged for enhanced international cooperation on status withdrawal when beneficiaries of international protection travel back to their country of origin.699 The State Secretariat for Migration in Switzerland has started to re-examine the provisional admission of around 3400 Eritreans700, based on the ruling of the Federal Administrative Court from 2017701, which raised concerns by several civil society organisations.702
The rules for status review and for the withdrawal of status were further clarified in many other EU+ countries, often based on court decisions. The Swedish Migration Agency issued new guidelines on the cessation of refugee or subsidiary protection status and on the withdrawal of these statuses. Following the decision of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) in the Netherlands adjusted its practices on withdrawing the international protection status when beneficiaries apply for the extension of the temporary asylum residence permit or for a permanent residence permit after the expiry of the previous permit. The IND assesses in an individual manner whether the criteria for protection still exist and the fact that the permit has expired cannot lead to an automatic cessation of the status. The Supreme Court of Norway came to the conclusion in one case that the temporary residence permit granted for refugees does not provide grounds for protection under Article 8 of ECHR and the revocation of this temporary residence permit in itself does not violate the right to private and family life. 703 A civil society source reported that the CNDA in France delivered many relevant decisions clarifying the circumstances when cessation or withdrawal can be applied. 704 The High Court in Ireland concluded that the refugee status automatically ceases when the person concerned acquires Irish citizenship and no formal act is required to end the refugee status.705
Several countries reported changes in legislation, policy and practice concerning family reunification based on court rulings. International, regional and national jurisprudence was also one of the main sources of the UNHCR Research paper entitled The Right to Family Life and Family Unity of Refugees and Others in Need of International Protection and the Family Definition Applied.706 The CJEU ruling C 550/16 clarified the inconsistent interpretation of the Family Reunification Directive at national level in the Netherlands and the judgement brought about a proposal for legislative amendment in Finland aiming to ensure that unaccompanied minors who are beneficiaries of international protection would be considered minors for the purposes of requesting family reunification, if they have submitted the application for international protection when still minors, but the decision on the residence permit application based on family ties is made after reaching adulthood. ECRE followed up this CJEU decision with a legal note on the issue of aging-out.707 Similar legislative changes have to be undertaken in Belgium based on the decision and the Immigration Office had already adjusted its practices to the ruling. The Second Instance administrative Court in Luxembourg provided more clarification on the notion of dependency in the national context.708The Swedish Migration Court of Appeal noted that the Swedish Migration Agency have to be particularly cautious when it refers refugees’ family members to the authorities of their country of origin to obtain identity documents and it alleviated the burden of proof for establishing family members’ identity, affecting in particular Eritrean cases.709The Swedish Migration Court also clarified the limitations to the right to family reunification introduced under the Temporary Act: it provided further guidance on the assessment of the likelihood to be granted a permanent residence permit for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection710 and ruled that denying the right to family reunification for an eight-year old UAM would be a violation of the best interest of the child and of Article 8 of the ECHR.711 The Grand Board of the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board ruled that the request for family reunification is considered to be submitted at the moment when the family member(s) appear in person at the foreign service mission and not when the request is submitted online and the necessary fee is paid: the judgement had a significant impact for considering whether refugees still fall under the relevant exemptions from family reunification criteria applied to TCNs in general.712 The family reunification request of a naturalised refugee in Ireland contributed to the clarification of issues around the cessation of the international protection status.713
Many other countries reported major legislative and policy changes affecting the rules on family unity and family reunification. A joint Ministerial Decision in Greece was published to clarify the requirements for issuing visa for refugees’ family members travelling to the country for family reunification. Civil society organisations welcomed this development, but noted that many administrative difficulties remain and only a small number of family reunification requests were granted.714 A new law in Germany ends the temporary suspension of family reunification for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection that was in force since 2016 and allows now them again to reunite with their immediate family members. The number of family members allowed to join their beneficiary sponsor is limited to 1000 a month. The amendment of the Aliens Act in Denmark enables the Ministry of Immigration and Integration to set a monthly ceiling on the number of residence permits delivered for family reunification with refugees, when the number of asylum applications increases considerably over a short period of time. The International Protection Act 2015 in Ireland was amended and it enables more family members to join when they qualify to be dependent on the beneficiary sponsor. The scope of family reunification was also extended in France for minor beneficiaries of international protection: together with the parents, their minor siblings may also join. A civil society source noted that refugee children can still not sponsor their parents or siblings for family reunification in the UK715 and persons granted subsidiary protection in Cyprus still cannot apply for family reunification.716 The Research Social Platform on Migration and Asylum (ReSOMA) also noted the narrow interpretation of family members as one of the key challenges for beneficiaries of international protection to be able to reunite with their family members.717 Another civil society source from Switzerland underlined that persons with temporary protection may only initiate family reunification after three years when having enough financial sources to support the family members joining them and there were two pending cases in front of the European Court of Human Rights concerning this matter.718 719 The coalition agreement in Luxembourg expressed the intention to increase the time limit to six months from three months, when beneficiaries of international protection are exempted from certain criteria for family reunification. Family members reunited with TCNs (including with beneficiaries of international protection) in Poland receive a temporary residence permit with a validity of maximum three years after the amendment of the Law on Foreigners, while previously it was automatically granted for exactly three years.
Three countries reported changes regarding the residence permits delivered to beneficiaries of international protection and their family members. Refugees and their family members in Denmark are granted a temporary residence permit instead of a permanent one since 1 March 2019. Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and their family members receive a multiannual residence permit of four years in France, a measure which was welcomed by several civil society organisations.720 A ten-year residence permit is automatically issued after four years of legal residence as part of the four-year multi-annual residence permit. The amended CESEDA also prohibits the revocation of a residence permit based on family reunification, when the family unity breaks up due to domestic violence in general – previously this was limited to victims of conjugal violence. A legal provision was extended in Norway, which entitles TCNs who hold a residence permit for family immigration to a new residence permit if they are abused by their spouse or cohabitant. The provision now includes cases where the abuse is committed by a person in the household other than the beneficiary’s partner or in-laws outside the household.
Few significant changes affected beneficiaries’ eligibility for naturalisation. The amended Immigration Act in Belgium states that period between the application for international protection and the recognition as a refugee is now taken into account for the calculation of the duration of legal residence prior to applying for nationality. The residence requirement for naturalisation was reduced in Portugal from six to five years, but the same criteria was extended for refugees in Austria from six to ten years.721 The Netherlands Nationality Act (RWN) was amended and the rehabilitation period for serious offences was increased to five years from four.
Many EU+ countries revised their national strategies for the integration of TCNs. The legislative amendments in Italy re-shaped the guiding principles of the integration of beneficiaries of international protection: the support measures available within the former Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (SPRAR, Sistema di protezione per richiedenti asilo e rifugiati) are now offered only to recognised beneficiaries in the framework of Protection System for Persons with International Protection Status and Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (SIPROIMI, Sistema di Protezione per titolari di protezione internazionale e minori stranieri non accompagnati).
The Inter-ministerial Integration Committee in France launched on 5 June 2018 a national strategy for the integration of refugees focusing on seven priority areas.722 The strategy builds on a previous parliamentary report putting forward 72 recommendations for an ambitious integration policy. 723 This is a comprehensive document addressing every aspect of integration: French language courses, participation to the society, employment, housing. France also continues and broadens the scope of its programme for integration HOPE724, which is now open to every employment sector. The Council of Ministers in Luxembourg adopted the multiannual national action plan on integration (PAN 2018, Plan d’action national pluriannuel d’intégration 2018), which identified the reception and social support of applicants for international protection as one of the two main domains for action.725 The National Identity, Civil Society and Integration Policy Implementation Plan 2019-2020 was approved in Latvia and beneficiaries of international protection has become one of its main policy target groups.726 The Czech Government updated its policy for the integration of foreigners both for 2018727 and 2019728 and adopted the relevant procedure to implement the policy: the focus areas remained the same with a slightly increased budget allocated for implementation. The government in Lithuania adopted the new Action Plan 2018–2020 on the Integration of Foreigners into Society and the government in Norway also launched a new integration strategy for 2019-2022. The Integration Unit within the Human Rights and Integration Directorate in Malta launched the I Belong programme in November 2018, following the adoption of the Maltese integration strategy and action plan entitled Integration = Belonging in 2017. The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Integration established 58 measures across different ministries to be implemented throughout 2019 and 2020. Feedback on the strategy and action plan is facilitated through the Forum on Integration Affairs, representing migrant communities residing in Malta. The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs in Austria identified the integration of migrant women as a policy priority.729 The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in the UK published a Green Paper on the Integrated Communities Strategy, based on which the government has launched – among other measures - a new Integrated Communities Innovation Fund. The new Act on the responsibility for the integration and establishment of newly arrived migrants came into force in Sweden. The Ministry of Migration Policy in Greece prepared a new six-month strategy for the integration of beneficiaries of international protection, aiming to reach 10 000 refugees in one year.730 The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) project – involving 15 EU Member States - published comprehensive reports on the implementation of the national integration strategies and analysed these trends in the European context. 731
Other EU+ countries were in the process of reviewing existing strategies. The Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration in Germany announced the development of the new National Integration Action Plan at the 10th Integration Summit at the Federal Chancellery.732 The negotiations have started in Estonia to elaborate the new National Integration Strategy for 2021-2031, with the current strategy ending in 2020.733 The legislative proposal for the new Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration was submitted for discussion to the parliament in Finland. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the Netherlands announced major changes to the civic integration system and aims to enact the new Civil Integration Act in 2020.
The government in Cyprus launched a call for proposal to develop its very first National Action Plan on the migrants’ integration 2020-2022. Contributing to this process, UNHCR reviewed the current legislative and policy framework of the country and drafted specific recommendations for the establishment a comprehensive national integration strategy for beneficiaries of international protection.734
UNHCR highlighted in its recommendations the need for sufficient funding to ensure implementation of these integration programmes both to the Austrian and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.735 UNHCR and ECRE published two relevant documents analysing the use of AMIF funding at national level and making recommendations to its better implementation.736 An NGO noted that the state in Hungary does not provide any specific integration support for beneficiaries of international protection since 2016 and the government withdrew the call for proposals for AMIF early 2018: integration services provided by NGOs stopped in June 2018.737 Another civil society source underlined that the National Programme for the Integration of Refugees in Bulgaria has stopped at the end of 2013, the responsibility for integration has been decentralised and moved to local authorities in 2016, but no municipalities has volunteered yet to develop an integration strategy. 738
Several countries reported about the increasing role of local authorities and municipalities within beneficiaries’ integration process and UNHCR also focused its 2018 High Commissioner’s Dialogue on the enhanced engagement of cities in protecting and finding solutions for refugees.739 OECD published an extensive report 740 on local integration and think tanks published analyses about the role of cities within the integration process.741 Municipalities are foreseen to be given the leading role in civic integration in the Netherlands under the planned new Civic Integration Act. The government in Norway announced its intention to further strengthen local integration processes and committed to provide the necessary resources for municipalities and civil society organisations. The Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities of the Government of the Republic of Croatia developed a strategic document on the integration of beneficiaries of international protection at local level. The Ministry for European Affairs and Equality in Malta elaborated the Local Integration Charter building on its first national Migrant Integration Strategy and Action Plan, launched already in 2017742. 21 local councils have signed this charter. The Ministry of the Interior in the Czechia also allocated further funds encouraging municipalities to set up their own integration strategies and dedicated the 10th annual conference of local authorities to issue of integration.743 The Controlling Migration Fund in the UK allocated additional funding to alleviate the pressure on local authorities in delivering their services to newly arrived TCNs and to pilot the establishment of Local Authority Asylum support Officers facilitating the transition of recognised refugees. AMIF-funded projects implemented at local level fill in the gap in Cyprus, while the national integration plan is in elaboration. A FRA focus report assessed the developments and remaining challenges for local communities in the integration process of beneficiaries of international protection.744
Various civil society initiatives analysed public attitudes towards beneficiaries of international protection and towards foreigners in general, for example in Bulgaria 745, Croatia 746, Cyprus 747, the Czechia 748, Latvia 749, Poland 750 and Portugal.751
A few countries elaborated new comprehensive measures to increase the participation of TCNs on the labour market in general and the participation levels of beneficiaries of international protection in particular. The Ministry of Labour in Greece has launched for the first time a comprehensive programme to facilitate beneficiaries accessing the labour market in shortage occupations in Attica and Central Macedonia, aiming to reach out to at least 3 000.752 An NGO pointed out that beneficiaries of international protection still face significant administrative barriers: they need to go through a lengthy process in order to obtain a social security and tax number, before they can get a job.753 Professional insertion became an separate component of the Republican Integration Contract in France and participants can benefit from enhanced and individualised employment-related counselling. The new National Integration Plan in Luxembourg highlights beneficiaries’ enhanced labour market access among its main objectives and the Employment Agency (ADEM) undertook various corresponding measures: it re-organised the procedure for beneficiaries’ ADEM registration and a team of specifically trained, English-speaking counsellors are now present in the assigned three major locations, who work in close collaboration with the Beneficiaries of International Protection Cell of ADEM. This cell also organised awareness raising and information campaigns, job interview trainings and connected employers with beneficiaries of international protection through a series of dedicated meetings. The Ministry of Social Affairs in the Netherlands launched in March 2018 the programme Further Integration to the Labour Market (VIA, Verdere Integratie op de Arbeidsmarkt) to improve the position of TCNs on the labour market, which targets various groups of migrants, including beneficiaries of international protection and their family members.754 New legislation in Sweden aims to harmonise to a greater extent the relevant regulations for newly arrived migrants with the regulations applicable to domestic job-seekers.755 A think tank looked into the barriers of hiring beneficiaries of international protection and put forward recommendations for better supporting employers in this framework. 756
Some initiatives focused specially on enhancing the labour market situation of women beneficiaries of international protection. The funding allocated in 2017 for seven specific projects was extended for 2019 to provide further support for the labour market integration of refugee women in Ireland. The study associations in Sweden received additional funding to offer guidance for applicant and beneficiary women about labour market integration.
Few specific developments were reported on employment-related education and vocational training. A think tank underlined the importance of these measures given the concentrated inflow of newly arrived beneficiaries of international protection.757 An education and training obligation applies now to beneficiaries of international protection and their family members participating in the introduction programme of the Public Employment Service in Sweden. Therefore, the government continued the cooperation with the Public Employment Service, the Swedish National Council for Adult Education and the folk high schools to offer vocational education in shortage occupations to unemployed participants of the PES Introduction Programme with training obligation. Universities in Norway set up cooperation projects to offer bridging classes for engineers, nurses and teachers, who are beneficiaries of international protection. The Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality in Ireland launched a bridging programme for migrant teachers who have been educated and trained outside of Ireland. The High Commission for Migration (ACM) and the School of Tourism in Portugal implemented a programme for young beneficiaries of international protection to obtain certified hospitality courses.
Most of the initiatives around language classes are not specifically targeted for beneficiaries of international protection, but the entitlement and the obligation for TCNs to learn the national language was substantially extended in several EU+ countries in 2018. Language programmes also increasingly tend to be linked with other integration components: courses are often adjusted to beneficiaries’ labour market trajectory determined in their individual integration plan. Integration programmes, including language classes have become mandatory for certain groups of TCNs (including beneficiaries of international protection) in the German-speaking Community in Belgium, while the duration of French language courses was extended to 400 hours from 120 hours in Wallonia and Dutch as second language (NT2) classes received more funding in Flanders to cover for the increased number of newcomers. The Brussels Capital Region introduced already in 2017 mandatory integration programmes, including language courses, but the relevant Ordinance has not yet entered into force. The Inter-ministerial Integration Committee in France plans to double the number of language instruction, depending on the initial level of the person concerned. An input received from a French civil society organisation welcomed this development as it underlined that the current number of language instruction is typically not sufficient for beneficiaries of international protection to attain a language level adequate enough to find a job.758 The government in the Netherlands plans to increase the required language level from A2 to B1 for the civic integration examination, presumably from 2020 on. Job-related language courses (obligatory to certain groups of TCNs, including specific categories of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection) in Germany has been extended from 300 hours to 400 hours, a new intermediate component of 100 hours was introduced to support participants completing the B2 level and courses have become free for low-income participants. The number of hours of language instruction for beneficiaries of international protection was increased in Estonia from 100 hours to 300 hours to provide them support to attain A2 level and TCNs can also use two new web-based applications to continue learning until B1 level. The amended Citizenship Act also provides now substantial support for persons potentially eligible for Estonian citizenship: by signing a citizen agreement, they become entitled to free language courses up to the required B1 level and to paid study leave days from work. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour in Lithuania elaborated measures (to be implemented in 2019) to ensure the continuity of language courses for beneficiaries of international protection and increase the hours of instructions. The I Belong programme in Malta provides since November 2018 free Maltese and English language courses and socio-cultural orientation courses for third-country nationals (including beneficiaries of international protection) at two stages, offered by the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and the University of Malta. The promotion of language learning is one of the priorities of the new multiannual national integration plan in Luxembourg and the coalition agreement committed to provide the necessary funding for the Ministry of Family and Integration to ensure the sufficient availability of language courses. The Beneficiaries of International Protection Cell of the Luxembourgish Employment Agency (ADEM) organised intensive, professionally oriented French classes for pre-selected candidates with an already good knowledge of the language. The Latvian Language Agency developed online learning materials for language learning specifically for applicants and beneficiaries of international protection and provided a short adult-education course for volunteers and mentors on teaching Latvian to newcomers. The State Employment Agency provided a language mentor for seven beneficiaries focusing on job-related vocabulary. Full funding for the provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages in the UK is prioritised for the unemployed on benefits, whose poor command of English is identified as the main barrier to getting a job. Swedish municipalities received additional funding to offer language classes and introduction courses for newly arrived beneficiaries on parental leave, a measure specifically aiming to facilitate the social and labour market access of women. The Austrian Integration Fund launched a new call for tender to submit projects proposals assisting beneficiaries of international protection in attaining A1 proficiency in German and passing the corresponding integration exam.759 Jobsplus in Malta was preparing a tender for the provision of job-related language training in Maltese and English for applicants, beneficiaries of international protection and persons with temporary humanitarian status, and continued to offer mainstream English and Maltese courses for all foreigners.
A set of policy initiatives focused on the validation of skills and the recognition of qualifications to enhance access to the labour market. The competence centres in Austria continued their skills recognition support, provided to all TCNs, targeted mainly towards newcomer beneficiaries of international protection. The mandatory integration programmes include an assessment of the skills and professional orientation of newcomers in the German-speaking Community and in the Brussels Capital Region (the relevant Order voted, but not yet in force) in Belgium. An AMIF-funded project is expected to be launched in Cyprus, providing skills assessment, individualised labour market counselling and professional training for applicants with the right to work and beneficiaries of international protection. The Ministry of Economy and Innovation in Lithuania prepared the draft amendment of the Law on Recognition of Regulated Professional Qualifications. The Finnish National Agency for Education published a guideline aiming to facilitate specifically teachers’ recognition of foreign qualifications.760
A few, but significant developments arose around the inclusion of migrant children in pre-school education. The Flemish Community in Belgium implemented several measures to increase the participation of migrant children in pre-schools, including the transformation of the relevant allowance scheme and piloting AMIF-funded projects aiming to involve TCN parents more in pre-school and school life. The government in Finland launched a pilot project on free part-time early childhood education for 5-year old children, targeting the better inclusion of all foreign children and the government in Norway extended the grant to finance free core hours in kindergarten to children from the age of two.
Some other changes aimed at facilitating the integration of pupils in compulsory school age in the national education programmes. The French Community further strengthened the system of bridging classes for newly arrived pupils in compulsory education (DASPAS, dispositive de scolarisation et d’accueil spécifique à destination des élèves primo-arrivants). The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute continued the implementation of an AMIF-funded project, which offered systematic training for school staff to be able to better manage classes with newly arrived pupils and created a network of TCN facilitators supporting children and their parents with school issues. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in the Czechia set up a new pilot for a system of mentors who accompany newly arrived foreign pupils in the first weeks of school and it started systematic implementation in 2019. The responsible ministry in Lithuania launched a similar measure and appointed teaching assistants in each school with foreign pupils. Schools in the UK receive funding for pupils having English as an additional language under the new national funding formula.
A few significant changes were introduced to support migrants’ education beyond compulsory school age. The Law of 18 June 2018 introduced a new Mediation Service for National Education in Luxembourg in charge of retaining migrant children in education. The revised civic integration system in the Netherlands, planned to be launched in 2020, foresees a new pathway for young participants transiting them the quickest possible to vocational programme or higher education. Study associations in Sweden also received funding to reach out and create motivational initiatives for migrant women to encourage their further education. Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection became entitled to university scholarships in France. The amendment of the Basic Education Act in Finland now includes basic education for adult TCNs over the compulsory school age – this was previously arranged as part of the integration training under the competence of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The amendment of the Act on Liberal Adult Education makes it possible for these institutions to arrange free literacy training for TCNs during their integration period. The state also granted special subsidies to support TCNs’ study paths both in formal training and non-formal education and it granted strategic funding for six education providers to create a network of centres of expertise providing support for TCNs and sharing good practices with other vocational institutions.
While two EU+ states extended the provision of certain types of social welfare benefits to beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, one country plans to drastically reform its benefit system, with a major impact on beneficiaries of international protection. The Law regarding the social revenue replaced the Law on guaranteed minimum wage in Luxembourg, clarified that beneficiaries of international protection do not have to fulfil the residence condition in order to benefit from social inclusion income (REVIS, revenu d’inclusion social) - the relevant legislation mentioned only refugees previously – and included in its scope the family members of beneficiaries as well. Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection in Slovakia are now included in the scope for receiving financial benefits compensating for serious physical disabilities. The Ministry of Social Affairs in Austria presented a draft law on social assistance 761, heavily criticised by civil society organisations, which would make part of the minimum benefit conditional on compulsory education or language knowledge, cut benefits for families with a lot of children and exclude beneficiaries of subsidiary protection of its scope.762 The level of benefits in Austria and the interpretation of Article 29 of the recast QD was the issue of a CJEU preliminary ruling, based on the request of the Provincial Administrative Court of Upper Austria. The CJEU underlined that not only refugees with permanent residence are entitled to the same level of social assistance as nationals, but also refugees with a temporary right of residence have to be treated equally with Austrian citizens and the limitations that can be applied to beneficiaries of subsidiary protection with regard to social assistance cannot be applied to them.763 Some countries highlighted the significant role that the Provision of information has on directing beneficiaries of international protection towards the available social assistance and social support: Migrant Information Centres remained active in Cyprus and all 14 regions have now a Regional Integration Centre in the Czechia. The State Employment Agency in Latvia created a multilingual infographic on social insurance services for employees.
As a major development aiming to improve healthcare services for migrants, Ireland launched on 1 January 2019 its second National Intercultural Health Strategy. New funding possibilities opened up for municipalities and care providers in the Netherlands for improving the support services for beneficiaries of international protection in general and allowing for the early identification of mental and psycho-social issues in particular. The Association of Netherlands Municipalities Asylum Seekers and Permit Holders Support Team (VNG OTAV) started a specific process to support municipalities in developing a health care approach to Eritrean beneficiaries, who are considered to be relatively vulnerable as a group.
The transition of recognised beneficiaries from Reception to follow-up accommodation or to the mainstream housing market has been a major concern in many EU+ countries 764, still limited amount of legal and policy changes arose on this field. The relevant act was amended in Croatia and it moved the responsibility for providing accommodation for beneficiaries of international protection to the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care. The government agreement in Luxembourg committed to provide more adequate accommodation for beneficiaries of international protection, increase the housing capacity of OLAI and amend the criteria to facilitate beneficiaries’ access to social housing. The Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania has put forward two initiatives to ease beneficiaries’ transition after recognition: it suggested the introduction of lower business fees for persons renting out accommodation to beneficiaries and launched a mapping exercise of the accommodation infrastructure to identify the exact needs for renovation or reconstruction. Civil society organisations from Greece 765, Ireland 766, Malta767 and the UK768 highlighted that recognised beneficiaries are still at an increased risk of homelessness and inadequate living conditions and an Austrian study revealed the specific challenges of beneficiaries in accessing municipal housing.769 An NGO in France underlined that temporary accommodation centres (CPH, centres provisoires d’hébergement) provide housing for recognised beneficiaries for maximum 12 months, but places remain limited. 770 Another civil society organisation in Sweden noted that UAM face significant challenges in finding housing after they turn 18, and they often have to move further away, cutting them from their initial ties supporting integration, such as school and local community. 771
687 IT LEG 01: Immigration and Security Decree.
688 Malta, Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security, Policy regarding Specific Residence Authorisation.
689 SE LEG 03: Law (2018:756) amending the Law on temporary limitations on the possibility of obtaining a residence permit in Sweden.
690 UK Home Office, Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 leave, Version 1.0.
691 gov.uk, New form of leave for children transferred during Calais clearance to join family.
692 IND, Children’s pardon: Everything about the Final Regulation for long-term resident children.
693 UNHCR, UNHCR Comments on the European Commission Proposal for a Qualification Regulation – COM (2016) 466.
694 FR LEG 01: Law of 10 September 2018.
695 DK LEG 01: Act No. 174 of 27/02/2019.
696 SK LEG 02: Act No. 198/2018 Coll.
697 IT LEG 01: Immigration and Security Decree.
698 AT LEG 01: FrÄG 2018, Aliens Law Amendment Act 2018.
699 Belgian House of Representatives, General Policy Note on Asylum and Migration, p. 25.
700 SEM, Fin du projet pilote d’examen des admissions provisoires de ressortissants érythréens.
701 CH Federal Administrative Court, D-2311/2016.
702 See for example: ECRE, Switzerland: 3200 Eritrean nationals facing possible deportation; AIDA, Country Report Switzerland, 2018 Update, p. 59.
703 NO Supreme Court, HR-2018-2133-A.
704 AIDA, Country Report France, 2018 Update, p. 122. See cases: FR CNDA, N° 17013391, FR CNDA, N° 18001386, FR CNDA, N° 17047809, FR CNDA, N° 17013391 and N° 17038232, FR CNDA, N° 16029914, FR CNDA, N° 15003496, FR CNDA, N° 14020621, FR CNDA, N° 13024407.
705 IE High Court,  IEHC 132.
706 UNHCR, The Right to Family Life and Family Unity of Refugees and Others in Need of International Protection and the Family Definition Applied.
707 ECRE and ELENA, ECRE/ELENA Legal Note on Ageing Out and Family Reunification.
708 LU Administrative Court, 40345C.
709 SE Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2018:4.
710 SE Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2018:19.
711 SE Migration Court of Appeal, MIG 2018:20.
712 NO Immigration Appeals Board, N18162210927.
713 IE High Court,  IEHC 132.
714 AIDA, Country Report Greece, 2018 Update, pp. 18 and 183.
715 AIDA, Country Report United Kingdom, 2018 Update, p. 99.
716 AIDA, Country Report Cyprus, 2018 Update, p. 106.
717 RESOMA, National Stakeholder Report 1 - Family Reunion.
718 ECtHR, B.F. and D.E. vs. Switzerland, 13258/18, Communicated Case; ECtHR, J. K. vs. Switzerland, 15500/18, Communicated Case.
719 Asylex, Switzerland, Input to the EASO Annual Report 2018.
720 See for example: NIEM, France: new law brings positive changes for the integration of refugees; Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, Input to the EASO Annual Report 2018, contribution not disclosed.
721 AT LEG 01: FrÄG 2018, Aliens Law Amendment Act 2018.
722 gouvernement.fr, Stratégie nationale pour l'accueil et l'intégration des personnes réfugiées: l'accès au logement, première étape du parcours d'intégration.
723 interieur.gouv.fr, 72 propositions pour une politique ambitieuse d'intégration des étrangers: remise du rapport au ministre de l'Intérieur.
724 Afpa, Avec Hope, l'Afpa propose une offre globale dédiée aux réfugiés.
725 EWSI, National action plan on integration 2018.
726 EWSI, National Identity, Civil Society and Integration Policy Implementation Plan 2019-2020.
727 EWSI, Czech Republic: Further steps in the realisation of the updated policy for the integration of foreigners in 2018.
728 EWSI, Further steps to implement the updated policy for integration of foreigners 2019.
729 Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Karin Kneissl: „Umsetzung des Integrationsgesetzes und die Förderung der Integration von Frauen mit Migrationshintergrund sind Prioritäten der Integrationsarbeit“.
730 EWSI, New Greek strategy for integration targets 10,000 refugees in one year.
731 See the list of publications here.
732 The Federal Chancellor, Towards a cosmopolitan and diverse Germany.
733 EWSI, Negotiations begin on Estonia's new integration policy.
734 UNHCR Cyprus, Towards a Comprehensive Refugee Integration Strategy for Cyprus.
735 UNHCR, UNHCR's Recommendations to the Federal Republic of Austria for its Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU); UNHCR, UNHCR's recommendations for the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
736 UNHCR and ECRE, Follow the Money I: Assessing the Use of EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) Funding at the National Level; UNHCR and ECRE, Follow the Money II: Assessing the Use of EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) Funding at the National Level (2014 - 2018).
737 AIDA, Country Report Hungary, 2018 Update, pp. 12, 72, 102, 113, 114, 115, 117.
738 AIDA, Country Report Bulgaria 2018 Update, p. 69.
739 UNHCR, High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges, 2018.
740 OECD, Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees.
741 For example: RESOMA, Integration, Cities as providers of services to migrant populations.
742 EWSI, Local Integration Charter launched in Malta.
743 EWSI, Brno – Integration Crossroads Conference.
744 FRA, Current migration situation in the EU: Impact on local communities (update).
745 EWSI, The wages of fear: Attitudes towards refugees and migrants in Bulgaria.
746 EWSI, The Wages of Fear: Attitudes Towards Refugees and Migrants in Croatia.
The Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities also conducted a public survey on the attitudes of Croatian citizens towards persons who have been granted international protection, in the framework of the project
"Support for the integration of third country nationals who need international protection".
747 EWSI, Study shows Cypriots have mixed perceptions of refugees and migrants.
748 EWSI, The Wages of Fear: Attitudes Towards Refugees and Migrants in Czech Republic.
749 EWSI, Survey shows Latvian attitudes are still closed to people of other ethnicities and origins.
750 EWSI, The Wages of Fear: Attitudes Towards Refugees and Migrants in Poland.
751 EWSI, Public Opinion Portal (POP) visualises data on the attitudes of Europeans towards immigration.
752 EWSI, Greek government announces labour market support for refugees.
753 DRC in Greece, Input to the EASO Annual Report 2018.
754 Rijksoverheid, Rapport Verdere Integratie op de Arbeidsmarkt (VIA).
755 SE LEG 01: Law on the responsibility for the integration of newly arrived migrants.
756 EPC, Integrating refugees into the labour market: How can the EU better support employers?
757 CEPS, The impact of refugees on the labour market: a big splash in a small pond?
758 Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, Input to the EASO Annual Report 2018, contribution not disclosed.
759 Austrian Integration Fund, Deutschkurse auf Sprachniveau A1: ÖIF-Aufruf für Projektförderung.
760 Finnish National Agency for Education, Working as a teacher in Finland with a foreign qualification, Recognition of a teacher education completed abroad.
761 AT LEG 07: Ministerial draft for a Social Assistance Basic Law and a Social Assistance Statistics Law.
762 EWSI, Austria: Government to cut social benefits for non-nationals; Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, Input to the EASO Annual Report 2018; AIDA, Country Report Austria, 2018 Update, p. 122.
763 CJEU, C-713/17.
764 See also the section on Reception of applicants for international protection.
765 AIDA, Country Report Greece, 2018 Update, p. 185; DRC in Greece, Input to the EASO Annual Report 2018.
766 AIDA, Country Report Ireland, 2018 Update, p. 87.
767 AIDA, Country Report Malta, 2018 Update. p. 75.
768 AIDA, Country Report UK, 2018 Update, p. 101
769 Anita Aigner, Housing entry pathways of refugees in Vienna, a city of social housing. Referenced also in: AIDA, Country Report Austria, 2018 Update, p. 118.
770 Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, Input to the EASO Annual Report 2018, contribution not disclosed.
771 Save the Children (Sweden Office), Input to the EASO Annual Report