The Basque Government presents its “Auzolana II” experience at the 6Th. European Forum on Migration

2021 October 27
  • The pilot program of community sponsorship for the reception of migrants from the Basque Country, a model for other regions and states of the European Union

Brussels, 2021 10 27

The Department of Equality, Justice and Social Policies of the Basque Government has presented its experience "Auzolana II" this morning at the 6 Th. European Forum on Migration that takes place until tomorrow in Brussels. In the section dedicated to "Exchange on legal channels for protection and community sponsorships" co-chaired by H. Nidetzky (European Commission) and Anila Noor (Group of Experts on Migration and Asylum), the Basque representation highlighted the objective of the program which aims to support refugees through community sponsorship to improve and strengthen the coordination of reception and integration actions for people who seek or already have international protection in the Basque Country ”.

The Basque Government Delegation to the European Institutions in Brussels, explained that “the Auzolana 2 program is inspired by the Canadian model, and its community sponsorship formula seeks the direct participation of the local population in this objective".

The Basque Government launched in 2019 the pilot initiative for community sponsorship in the Basque Country called Auzolana II, as part of its commitment to refugees. At the moment, this program is the first community sponsorship pilot experience in the state.

The pilot program began on March 26, 2019 with the arrival of 29 people to the Basque Country, made up of five independent refugee families. Of these, 16 are children. They all came from Jordan and are Syrian citizens. Although the families had experienced similar conditions in the refugee camps, the circumstances of each were different.

Upon their arrival in the Basque Country, five voluntary community sponsorship groups were in charge of their reception and settlement in five municipalities: Bilbao, Arrigorriaga, Portugalete, Andoain and Vitoria-Gasteiz. The five local volunteer groups have the support of two social and religious organizations: Caritas Euskadi -in Bilbao, Andoain and Vitoria-Gasteiz- and the Ignacio Ellacuría Social Foundation -in Arrigorriaga and Portugalete- which are in charge of coordinating and monitoring the pilot experience.  The project lasts two years and in its final stage the families benefited by community sponsorship become autonomous and self-sufficient.


Participants in the sponsorship project received orientation courses offered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and specific information on the sponsorship program before their departure. Families participating in community sponsorship had to give their consent to three elements: joining the resettlement program of the Spanish Government, participating in Auzolana II and accepting proposals from local entities. The sponsoring social organizations are obliged to provide housing during the two years of the project, an economic aid of 10,000 euros and the five local volunteer groups.

An evaluation report was published in March 2021, after the first year of project implementation and, in summary, the report says that the pilot experience has worked as it should, although of course there are also areas for improvement. The challenge now is how to move forward. Therefore, the collaboration agreement has been extended until 2023 to receive new families benefiting from international protection.

Regarding the national and European dimension of the project, the Basque Government has transferred the knowledge acquired through this experience to the national level and two other Autonomous Communities are going to launch Community Sponsorship programs.

At the European level, the Basque Government participates in a European project called SHARE QSN (Quality Sponsorship Network), implemented from January 2021 to June 2023 and co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union (AMIF) that brings together to actors who are currently carrying out privately sponsored programs in their national contexts.

  • 2021 October 28

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  • 2021 October 28

    Enseñar también utilizar sacar rendimiento herramientas se dispone. Puede haber personas no sepan manejar todas las funcionalidades de su dispositivo electrónico en vez de para estar todo el día la persona enganchada a la pantalla. también dar a conocer los riesgos conexión y formas de manejarlos y actuación en caso de mal manejo.

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Politicians attending the event
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  • H. Nidetzky , Anila Noor, Ylva Johansson