Five years after introducing Thematic Funds to strategically provide funding to civil society work on migration, EPIM conducted a Strategic Review of the Thematic Fund Portfolio in 2020 with the aim to:
- identify and strengthen the intersections of the different thematic areas addressed in Thematic Funds,
- test the relevance and added value of current thematic foci in light of current and future developments in the field, and
- identify gaps and opportunities EPIM should address moving forward.
The outcome of the Strategic Review in form of nine recommendations will guide improvements of EPIM’s thematic work in the coming years:
1. Increase the flexibility of EPIM’s support to emergencies and opportunities
EPIM will further refine funding mechanisms to ensure that civil society organisations and funders can turn to EPIM in emergency situations which impact the wider European migration context as well as when opportunities for advocacy with European relevance emerge.
2. Integrate strategic communications across EPIM’s Thematic Funds
EPIM will develop and integrate criteria across its work to ensure that all EPIM Thematic Funds consider integrating strategic communications approaches into their strategy, as relevant.
3. Establish an anti-discrimination lens across EPIM’s thematic portfolio
EPIM will review its thematic work to ensure to contribute to advancing the anti-discrimination and racial justice agenda through its grant-making and to encourage partners to do the same. EPIM will pay more particular attention to marginalised individuals through its interventions and the way it operates.
4. Strengthen geography-based collaboration and strategically use focus countries
EPIM will strengthen the strategic assessment of which countries it may wish to specifically invest in for advocacy purposes and extend its efforts to make grantees who operate in the same country aware of each other’s activities for closer exchange and collaboration. EPIM will further clarify the geographical scope of the support provided.
5. Increase the representation of migrant-led work in the sector
EPIM will further analyse and reflect how to close the gap between migrant-led organisations and other civil society organisations in the sector and its own funding. EPIM also works on internal decision-making processes so that advocates with lived experiences shape EPIM’s work more significantly.
6. Increase engagement with the climate change CSO sector
EPIM will improve its understanding of the implications of climate change on its focus areas, grantees and target beneficiaries and support connections amongst the climate change and the migration advocacy sectors. EPIM will particularly dedicate attention to the narratives on migration in the climate movement.
7. Support CSOs in addressing the consequences of technologies on migrants’ lives in Europe
EPIM will develop strategies to support CSOs in the migration sector to better address risks and opportunities that technological change brings to people’s lives in the migration context by connecting relevant actors, dedicating grants to relevant advocacy or building organisational capacities.
8. Strengthen efforts to monitor and address manifestations of the EU migration control trend
EPIM will identify more explicit and holistic strategies to address the manifestations of the current EU migration control trend which enables rights violation and division of communities. With the joint rethinking of the Thematic Fund on Asylum and the Thematic Fund on Detention and Migration, EPIM will more comprehensively support advocacy for an individual-orientated, rights-based approach to migration management policies.
9. Look deeper into workers’ rights, labour and living conditions of migrants, and how they affect integration
EPIM will support efforts to contribute to the upholding and improvement of migrants’ rights regarding labour and living conditions, especially for vulnerable groups such as undocumented migrants and mobile EU citizens on short-term or seasonal contracts.