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Parliamentary questions
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22 January 2016
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-013452/2015

Access to employment is key to ensure integration in the long-run. Although integration policy is an area of primary national competence, the EU can support Member States in their actions(1), while excluding legal harmonisation of integration policies. Existing EU legislation ensures that beneficiaries of international protection have access to the labour market and vocational training and that they benefit from equal treatment in terms of remuneration, access to social security systems and other conditions of employment(2). It also provides(3) that Member States shall ensure access to integration programmes so as to take into account the specific needs of beneficiaries of international protection.

EU action on integration occurs also through the EU funds. Through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), Member States receiving resettled and relocated asylum-seekers benefit from lump sums to support reception, accommodation and integration of asylum-seekers. AMIF also supports the initial integration of third-country nationals through e.g. language courses and preparatory actions to enter the labour market. In the framework of their AMIF national programmes, Member States have the obligation to allocate at least 20% to legal migration and integration issues, i.e. around EUR 600 million or more. Funding is also available to support labour market integration of refugees under the European Social Fund. The Commission stands ready to provide assistance and guidance to Member States on how to use these instruments and ensure synergies.

(1)Art.79.4 of the TFEU.
(2)Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13.12.2011 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (recast).
(3)Directive 2011/95/EU, see Article 34.

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