21 May 2015 – Milan, Italy

During the EFC’s Annual General Assembly and Conference, Fondazione Cariplo and Compagnia di San Paolo have joined forces with a group of several EFC members to support unaccompanied minors arriving in Europe, looking beyond emergency measures to their long-term welfare and inclusion. Unaccompanied minors who make it to Europe find themselves exposed to countless potential dangers including trafficking, hunger, health issues, and denial of their human rights when placed in detention. These minors have a valuable part to play in their new communities, an opportunity often overlooked.

The various challenges related to the appropriate reception and inclusion of unaccompanied minors is a global issue and cannot be addressed only at a local or national level but demands European-wide action. While dealing with the emergency is critical, especially in regions heavily affected such as southern Italy, addressing the long-term prospects of the unaccompanied minors is equally important and essential for Europe’s future.

Working together as European foundations to deal with the issue is crucial in today’s situation where EU Member States are struggling to find common agreements on migration. Within this context, a group of foundations met in Milan on 21 May and committed to work together in order to secure a better future for unaccompanied minors in Europe today. During the meeting, the group of foundations agreed to move forward together to explore concrete opportunities for actions which can be implemented by the end of 2015. The European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), a long-standing collaborative programme set up by European foundations, is prepared to provide the platform for this joint effort drawing on its experience of ten years in the area.

On behalf of the group of foundations who expressed their interest in working together, we strongly encourage other foundations, concerned with this issue, to bring their expertise and experience to the group. Interested foundations should contact Fondazione Cariplo and Compagnia di San Paolo to join this initiative and to be invited to our kick-off meeting in September 2015.

Let’s work together today to build a better future for youth in Europe tomorrow.