Location and general information

Ongoing
Location Denmark; Germany; Hungary; Italy; Ireland; Netherlands, United Kingdom
Start date 01/01/2020
End date 08/31/2021
Cost of the project €669,092
Foundation funding €69,100
Project identifier EURO2020_1
Partners European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund; streetfootballworld gGmbH; European Football for Development Network

Context

Factors such as cultural differences, language barriers and social stigmas can make it difficult for third-country nationals (migrants from non-EU countries) to integrate into their new European societies.

Over the past decade, the potential of sport has become increasingly recognised by the EU, with the Council of the European Union observing that “sport is a powerful social tool in many areas such as addressing increasing migrant populations, combating social exclusion or increasing solidarity between generations”. Sporting values, such as teamwork, respect, diversity, equality of opportunity and fair play, are equally European values.

UEFA EURO 2020 is the ideal opportunity to educate the European public about the social inclusion of third-country nationals. It is an occasion to celebrate unity in diversity, break down barriers to social inclusion, transform lives and inspire communities. Co-funded by the European Commission’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and coordinated by streetfootballworld, the Football for Unity project will utilise the tournament to promote a positive image of migration and help create strong incentives that will lead to a more constructive discourse on migration within European host communities.

Project content

Football for Unity will enable pan-European collaboration, cross-border exchange and peer-to-peer learning to help unite and develop the capacities of relevant European stakeholders, eager to improve their sport-based social inclusion programmes to produce more positive outcomes for third-country nationals in their local communities.

The aim is to unite and capacitate local stakeholder groups to plan, organise and implement their own local legacy sport programmes and impactful events in the context of UEFA EURO 2020. The project will bring together young third-country nationals and young Europeans in seven European capital cities in a series of local football-based programmes, youth forums, integration activities and football for inclusion tournaments (utilising methodologies such as football3) that will demonstrate football’s unique ability to promote equality and social inclusion. The young participants will be able to interact, learn from one another, acquire life skills and become agents of change and community building.

Objectives

  • Use UEFA EURO 2020 to bring football as a powerful tool for the social inclusion of third-country nationals to the attention of the wider European public
  • Build the capacity of local stakeholder groups to collaboratively organise seven awareness-raising festivals (five larger festivals and two smaller festivals) during UEFA EURO 2020 in seven strategic locations:
    1. Netherlands, Amsterdam with Johan Cruyff Foundation
    2. Germany, Munich with KICKFAIR
    3. Hungary, Budapest with Oltalom Sports Association
    4. Ireland, Dublin with Sports Against Racism Ireland
    5. United Kingdom, London with Street Child United
    6. Italy, Rome with Liberi Nantes ASD
    7. Denmark, Copenhagen with FC Nordsjælland
  • Sustainably improve the social inclusion outcomes of young third-country nationals in UEFA EURO 2020 host cities via opportunities for active participation, exchange and non-formal learning
  • Ensure maximum impact and sustainability of the multi-stakeholder collaborative approach beyond UEFA EURO 2020

Project activities

Local stakeholder groups will be created in each of the seven UEFA EURO 2020 host cities to organise the festivals. Each group will be comprised of local partners, such as civil society organisations, public authorities, football industry actors and local social inclusion experts.

The groups will organise legacy sports programmes with low barriers to entry to ensure sports activities aimed at the social inclusion of young third-country nationals continue after the UEFA EURO 2020 awareness-raising festivals.

They will also create action plans to ensure joint integration activities continue so that third-country nationals are actively given the opportunity to participate in society.

They will create an action plan for the continuation and sustainability of the multi-stakeholder cooperation and continue to implement integration activities, actively supporting their participation in society and aiding community building on the local level.

Expected results

  • Festivals will raise awareness about social inclusion of third-country nationals in seven EURO 2020 host countries
  • Local stakeholder groups (comprised of civil society organisations, public authorities, football industry actors, local experts on the topic of social inclusion) develop and implement joint activities at a local or regional level
  • Third-country nationals will take part in integration activities through which they will acquire life skills (communication, conflict resolution, leadership and intercultural knowledge) and become promoters of European values on and off the pitch
  • Local stakeholder groups will develop and implement joint activities and create action plans for utilising football as a tool for social inclusion

Partners

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