FINANCING OF INTEGRATION MEASURES
Pursuant to the Ordinance on the terms and procedure for concluding, implementing and terminating an agreement for the integration of foreigners with granted asylum or international protection, the sources for financing the integration measures are:
- European funds such as the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Operational Programs under the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, etc.;
- international and foreign financial instruments such as the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, etc.;
- international institutions and organizations;
- national funding.
Persons granted international protection have access to rights under the terms and following the procedure for Bulgarian citizens (persons granted refugee status) or foreigners with a permanent residence permit in Bulgaria (persons granted humanitarian status). Access to rights is financed by the State Budget of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)
Measures and activities for the integration of foreigners who have received international protection after relocation or resettlement are funded under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
The EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) has four main objectives:
- strengthening and developing all aspects of the Common European Asylum System, including its external dimension;
- supporting legal migration to the Member States in accordance with their economic and social needs, such as labour market needs, and promoting the effective integration of nationals from non-EU countries;
- enhancing return strategies in the Member States with an emphasis on the sustainability of return and effective readmission in the countries of origin;
- enhancing solidarity and responsibility sharing between the Member States, in particular towards those most affected by migration and asylum flows.
All EU countries (except Denmark, which is not participating in this fund) prepare national programmes outlining the actions through which they intend to achieve the objectives set out in the AMIF regulation.
Examples of actions include measures to support:
- reception and asylum systems (such as improved administrative structures, training of staff dealing with asylum procedures, developing alternatives to detention, etc.);
- integration measures with a focus on the local level (such as provision of training and services to non-EU nationals, sharing best practices among EU countries, etc.);
- voluntary return programmes, reintegration measures, etc.
While most of the Fund’s budget is allocated to the national programmes, part of it is used for EU-level actions (the so-called Union actions), for emergency assistance, for the European Migration Network and for technical assistance at the initiative of the European Commission.
In Bulgaria, the Responsible Authority of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) is the International Projects Directorate ( IPD ) – a structure with the Ministry of the Interior for managing programs and projects funded by the European Union and other international programs and contracts. IPD assists the Minister of the Interior in coordinating the activities related to the preparation and implementation of projects and programs financed entirely or partially by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, including activities for the protection and integration of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria.
In addition to the irnational programme allocation, Member States may receive an additional amount for the mplementation of specific actions. These actions (listed in Annex II), require Member States to cooperate with each other and generate significant added value for the EU.
Union resettlement programme
Each Member State may also receive, every two years, an additional amount based on a lumpsum of €6,000 for each resettled person, which will be increased to €10,000 for common priorities (such as regional protection programmes) and vulnerable groups of persons.
The financial envelope for the implementation of the fund for 2014-20 is set at €3.137 billion at current prices.
Details regarding the implementation of the fund are to be found in Regulation (EU) No 514/2014.
Procurement and application procedures in Bulgaria are implemented through the on-line EUMIS system.
European Social Fund
TheEuropean Social Fund is Europe’s main instrument for supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer job opportunities for all EU citizens. It works by investing in Europe’s human capital – its workers, its young people and all those seeking a job. The ESF financing of EUR 10 billion a year is improving job prospects for rmillions of Europeans, in particular those who find it difficult to get work.
The European Union is committed to creating more and better jobs and a socially inclusive society. These goals are at the core of the Europe 2020 strategy for generating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU. The ESF is playing an important role in meeting Europe’s goals, and in mitigating the consequences of the economic crisis – especially the rise in unemployment and poverty levels.
The European Commission and the EU countries in partnership set the ESF’s priorities and how it spends its resources. One priority is to boost the adaptability of workers with new skills, and enterprises with new ways of working. Other priorities focus on improving access to employment: by helping young people make the transition from school to work, or training less-skilled job-seekers to improve their job prospects. Indeed, vocational training and lifelong learning opportunities to give people new skills form a large part of many ESF projects.
Another priority focuses on helping people from disadvantaged groups to get jobs. This is part of enhancing ‘social inclusion’ – a sign of the important role that employment plays in helping people integrate better into society and everyday life. The financial crisis has led to a redoubling of efforts to keep people in work, or help them return to work quickly if they lose their jobs.
Leading institution in Bulgaria is the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy
Human Resources Development Operational Programme 2014-2020 (HRD OP)
will contribute actively to achieving two of the targets of the European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable, and Inclusive Growth Europe 2020. These are the targets in the fields of employment and the fight against poverty and social exclusion.
Bulgaria, along with the other EU Member States, has defined its national targets for the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy, namely: (1) at least 76% of the 20-64 years of age to be employed by 2020, and (2) reduce the number of people in poverty by 260,000 by 2020. Attaining these targets is of fundamental importance to the vision and strategy of the HRD OP.
Leading institution in Bulgaria is the Ministry of Labor and SocialPolicy
The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived
The Fund should strengthen social cohesion by contributing to poverty reduction with the ultimate goal of eliminating the worst forms of poverty in the Union by supporting national programs providing non-financial assistance to alleviate food shortages and severe material deprivation and / or to promoting the social inclusion of the most deprived. The fund should alleviate the forms of extreme poverty that contributes most to social exclusion, such as homelessness, child poverty and food shortages.
Leading institution in Bulgaria is the Ministry of Labor and SocialPolicy
The Science and Education for Smart Growth Operational Program 2014-2020
fits its own logic in two main tasks:
- To be one of the key instruments for achieving the targets adopted by the Republic of Bulgaria in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy (achieving a national target set in theEurope 2020 Strategy to reach 1.5% of GDP invested in Scientific research and development; reducing the share of early school leavers to 11%; reducing the number of people living in poverty by 260,000; and an increase in employment to 76%);
- To serve as an effective means of implementing cohesion policies, according to the agenda at national and community level.
Leading institution in Bulgaria is the Ministry of Education and Science.
OTHER PROGRAMS FINANCED BY THE EU
DG Regional Policy
European Programme for Urban Sustainable Development (URBACT)
Leading institution in Bulgaria under the Operational Program for Regional Development 2014-2020 is the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works
DG Home Affairs
DG Education and Culture
DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
DG Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food
DG Research and Innovation