The Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament endorsed the renewed Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) with a 2021-2027 budget allocation of €9.2 billion. It also backed the creation of a new Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF) with an allocation of €7.1 billion, to build and enhance Member States’ capacities in border management and visa policy. The negotiation on the next budget framework is going to take longer. If the final endorsement of the MFF does not take place within the year, the next European Parliament can bring all the budget proposals back to the table. This could have a particularly big impact on the AMIF, with a possible increase in the border management budget, already much higher than the integration budget.
It seems important to strengthen the synergy between the AMIF, which concerns short term integration, and the ESF+, which more concerns the mid to long term integration of third country nationals. The role of civil society, NGOs and local authorities should be enhanced. In the last few years SOLIDAR members have and are covering the institutional lack in the reception and integration of migrants. Local authorities have often been protagonists in the promotion of solidarity and hospitality (see the case of the mayors of Valencia, Riace and Palermo), and the next budget should also take their fundamental role into account. The real issue remains the sustainability and predictability of actions and programmes, as results cannot be immediate: it is about the outcome and not output.