The Integration and Development Fund as proposed by the Municipal Integration and Development Initiative (MIDI) aims to support cities and municipalities in offering reception and shelter for refugees while contributing to a more solidarity-based narrative and approach towards them. It aims to reimburse the cost of reception and integration while providing an equal amount of funding for urban and community development. This in turn is envisioned to create a win-win situation for cities, residents, and refugees alike. Furthermore, this fund will give cities an incentive and more leverage to advocate for humanitarian, sustainable and inclusive solutions. Especially in times of rising anti-migration sentiments and member state’s reluctance to participate in intra-European refugee relocation schemes, this municipality-based approach offers a new perspective towards a progressive European solidarity.
However, the joint funding of urban development and integration in a single fund as well as the direct transfer of funds to municipalities and cities raises legal and practical questions. Do the treaties of the EU allow for such a fund? And how does the fund need to be designed to be a useful and accessible tool for large as well as small towns and municipalities? To discuss these legal and practical challenges and possibilities, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is happy to invite you to our online discussion with European stakeholders and legal experts.
Please find the highlight video of the event here