EU Funded Refugee Incubator Villages
From its very beginning, three years ago, Refival has advocated a shared European approach for the allocation and integration of refugees. Up till now, the distribution of asylum seekers has been very unequal and the “burden” has almost entirely been borne by some “refugee preferred” rich destination countries and a few countries with an external EU sea border like Spain, Italy and Greece.
An important new EU policy shift is the emergence of a common European strategy for establishing migrant and refugee reception centers for controlled processing within the EU as well as disembarkation platforms outside of the EU. This is a first step in collectively handling migration issues.
However, as long as countries of origin refuse to take back economically motivated migrants who are declined entry into the EU, and as long as many EU countries are unwilling to voluntarily accept additional asylum seekers/refugees, a strong demand for further pan-European solutions remains. This need goes far beyond registering and administratively processing people. The newly proposed fast acceptance or return selection thus requires a centrally organized overflow mechanism. To address this, Refival designed and proposes an intermediate incubation phase for refugees, which can be implemented immediately after their admission has been approved. Basic integration upon initial reception would this way become a common European responsibility and no longer that of each single member-state.
Refugees either need to be prepared for a future life in Europe or for their return home. Since this process on average takes five years, in my opinion it makes a lot of sense to house newcomers with deficits in their chance of employment (especially families) at selected low-living cost (often rural) locations during their incubation period. The related welfare based funding can this way be much more efficiently invested in their education and well-being, instead of having it spent on high subsistence expenses. Being a transitional and temporary solution, it would be fully logical to fund such incubation from EU budgets. Doing so, the related cost would be proportionally shared by all member-states.
As long as central governments do not object, local rural communities could volunteer to incubate refugees by servicing them with EU financed Internet-based education, work experience and social interaction. At the same time, this would synergistically revitalize the village whilst improving the refugees’ connection to the labor market. Those refugees who will permanently stay in Europe, will (equal to any other EU citizen) be able after incubation to apply for jobs elsewhere. However, being incubated, their final destination countries will receive tax-payers instead of welfare-recipients.
Regardless of supportive feedback and a high level of positive interest, Refival has, being a three-year one-man self-financed initiative and working in the current political climate of Europe, so far failed to bring the required stakeholders together in a pilot-project. Therefore please share my materials with people who may be interested to participate or contact me if you are interested to become engaged in Refival‘s mission yourself. Every contribution towards achieving Refival’s goals of improving refugee integration and revitalizing rural villages is wholeheartedly welcome and much appreciated!