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The overall aim of the project is to expand protection and solution opportunities through complementary pathways of admission to Europe and legal intra-EU mobility. For this purpose, the project will design a VET, skills and qualifications supported complementary pathway mechanism; such a mechanism takes from the beginning VET, skills and qualifications into account as a way to support legal mobility of refugees and has the potential of increasing labour market integration possibilities in the medium to long run.

Far from seeking utopic answers, the overall objective of this project is therefore to provide a pragmatic contribution to the design of socially sustainable and effective mechanisms to improve the management of the refugee crisis in EU Member States.

In this perspective, the ultimate aim is to increase the evidence base which can support policy- and decision-making in EU Member States (MSs) in designing and implementing complementary pathway mechanisms for admission of adult refugees from a first host country (both EU and non-EU) to an EU country through use of VET, skills and qualifications. The study will result in the identification of such mechanisms and of the conditions for their development and expansion.

The project is organised is four steps, each leading in a complementary way to the development of the mechanism:

  1. Step 1: Development of a legal and theoretical framework – conceptual work aimed at designing the skeleton of the mechanism, identification of the dimensions and the legal and theoretical assumptions. The work will be underpinned by interviews with experts from academia, civil society and representatives of EU institutions (DG Home and DG Employment) and of relevant international organisations.
  2. Step 2: Lessons learnt from similar experiences in four countries to identify experiences that could be used for the purpose of the development of the mechanism: four case studies will be carried out in Canada, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands.
  3. Step 3: Lessons learnt from the relocation programme to identify experiences that could be used for the purpose of the development of the mechanism in terms of process and use of VET, skills and qualifications as criteria for relocation. Research will be carried out in Greece and Italy as sending countries and Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland and Portugal as receiving countries. Interviews with representatives of DG Home and EASO are also foreseen.
  4. Step 4: Development of the mechanism (a draft mechanism is foreseen to be ready in May 2019). The mechanism will be developed on the basis of the three steps above and refined through discussions, workshops and focus groups (to take place by September 2019):
  • At national level, in five countries to be selected among the following ones: Greece, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.
  • At the EU level with representatives of DG Home and Employment, EU Social Partners, etc.

The project foresees the simulation or testing of the mechanism in three EU countries to be selected by September 2019. The simulation or testing is foreseen to take place at the beginning of 2020.

The project kicked off in mid-February 2018, and will be finalised in July 2020.

Project contacts

Ramona Carmen David Craescu
Ioannis Katsikis