CoSME is a Research Project of National Interest (PRIN 2022) titled “Towards A European Model of Community Sponsorship for Refugees: Access, Reception and Integration”, with the acronym CoSME (Community Sponsorship for Migrants in Europe). The project aims to address the fragmentation in community sponsorship programmes, hindering structured dialogue and the formation of transnational solidarity networks that may support legal access and integration for migrants and refugees in Europe. The objective of this work is to identify the legal preconditions necessary for a sustainable sponsorship “ecosystem” in Europe, in line with EU policies on integration and resettlement. This will be achieved through addressing the challenges of definition (providing a legal and theoretical foundation), fragmentation (conducting policy-oriented analysis), and implementation/operation (assessing the functioning of community sponsorship through case studies).


Guiding Principles

When outlining the possible regulatory architecture of a European model of community sponsorship, the project is based on the following guiding principles:

  • Prioritising the public interest and the needs of hosting communities;
  • Respecting the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees to enhance their participation and “agency”;
  • Ensuring administrative sustainability.


Case studies

The balance between these guiding principles is sought in three case studies, which provide key contextual elements for the elaboration of a European model of community sponsorship, considering the perspective of the migrant/refugee, that of the host community and the challenges of managing mass flows. Thus, the added value of recent experiences and best practices developed at national and supranational level will be considered in three different areas:

  • University corridors for refugees;
  • private sponsorship for urban and rural employment;
  • public-private partnerships for managing mass displacement.


Methodology and Research Questions

The research activities encompass primary and secondary research, comparative analysis, and policy design. The project’s interdisciplinary approach evaluates how partnerships affect reception, integration, and social cohesion. The aim is to inform policymakers and provide practical solutions for reducing fragmentation in EU humanitarian admission policies. The CoSME project aims to reconstruct the link between legal configuration, administrative dimension, and actual functioning using an interdisciplinary methodology based on the “whole-of-route approach”. The assessment will focus on:

  • whether and under what conditions the partnership influences the successive phases of first reception, second reception, and integration, promoting pathways of active participation and migrant/refugee re-subjectification;
  • the extent to which community sponsorship contributes to promoting social cohesion and building inclusive societies for all, accomplishing a European public good that is at the heart of the EU Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027;
  • the impact of community sponsorship, highlighting its potential as an innovative institutional partnership, to inform the incorporation of community sponsorship into various complementary pathways, such as resettlement and humanitarian admission, while ensuring flexibility in national sponsorship programmes.

CoSME 2024