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March 6, 2021
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Commissioner Cretu: Structural funds may help member states with social integration of migrants

European Union’s structural funds may considerably help the member states meet the short and even long-term needs related to the social integration of migrants and refugees, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu says in a letter to Romania’s Minister of European Funds Marius Nica.

“I am writing this lines to inform you about the role the Cohesion Policy may play in the integration of migrants and refugees. As you may know, the European Commission has permanently deployed significant efforts to provide a coordinated response at the European level to migration and refugee issues. An example to the point is [European Commission] President Juncker’s unveiling on September 23 of a series of actual operational measures to the EU heads of state or government,” Cretu is quoted as saying in her letter in a press statement released on Saturday.

Cretu also says that European Regional Development Fund could co-finance a wide array of actions, from the opening reception centres, mobile hospitals, water supply and sanitation facilities, secure social, healthcare, education, accommodation and children care infrastructures, from actions to minimise social and educational isolation of migrants to support for the creation of new enterprisers.

“The efficiency of such investments depend to a great extent on their coordination with social integration and employment measures co-funded under the European Social Fund,” says Cretu. She added that ‘a series of actual measures are currently being implemented as a direct result of our collective actions.’

“For instance, nearly 220 million euros in the form of support from the European Regional Development Fund have bed redirected in Italy to funding reception facilities, patrolling and rescuing boats. Yet, much more can be done. We are determined to help the member states adjust their programmes in place to the new circumstance, if necessary,” Cretu says.

She invites the Romanian minister to submit proposals to the point.

“Because it is the member states to evaluate what kinds of investment is needed, I want to invite you to submit your proposals to me and my services, as soon as possible. My team will make sure you are provided customized guidance for investments that can be funded, and support for the identification of the most suitable EU instruments and help for the creation of integrated packages. You can rest assured that we will take all the necessary measure for the proposals to be adopted as soon as possible,” Cretu concludes.

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