ERSO II : European Reintegration Support Organisations  - Network Phase II

Establishment of an Instrument for Coordinated Sustainable Voluntary Return

The second phase of ERSO started in March 2008 and ended in September 2009. ERSO II aimed at improving the assistance for migrants - primarily rejected asylum seekers - during their voluntary return and reintegration process back into their country of origin, as well as continuing the networking activities of ERSO I with some new members.

11 European organisations were involved: ACCEM (Spain), Caritas Austria, Caritas Bulgaria, Caritas Essen (Germany), Caritas Europa, Caritas Hungary, Caritas International Belgium, Cordaid/MaatwerkbijTerugkeer(The Netherlands), ICMC (Belgium), Raphaels-Werk (Germany), Refugee Action (UK).

For ERSO II an effective client referral system was established based on an internet platform which was used as an internal exchange and knowledge management system, and a system of “focal points”, i.e. different ERSO project partners shared the responsibility for different countries of origin. All project applications to a specific country were channelled via an online webtool through the respective project partner (the focal point). That implied a bundling of resources and building-up of specific expertise concerning the countries of origin, and caused a smooth mode to refer clients from all over Europe to the different countries of origin. 

Caritas Austria was responsible for Ukrainian returnees and the Ukrainian partner, Caritas Belgium for Armenia and Mongolia, Caritas Essen for Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia, Raphaels-Werk for all topics concerning Kosovo, Cordaid for Sierra Leone and ACCEM for Bolivia.


ERSO II Newsletter 4

ERSO II Newsletter 5

ERSO II Newsletter 6


Solidarity Net Ukraine

Additionally to the European network, the model sub-project Solidarity Net Ukraine was implemented in the Ukraine. 

"Solidarity Net Ukraine" was established in the period from September 2008 until August 2009 as a network of Ukrainian partner organisations in 15 regions with the coordinating office of Caritas Ukraine in Lviv/Western Ukraine. 30 independent NGOs, well prepared network partners, also active in the field of social work, anti-trafficking, youth/family aid and development provided assistance to returnees in a variety of regions in Ukraine.

Through the Focal Point Ukraine which was located at Caritas Austria, migrants returning through the ERSO network were assisted in their region of return. Already prior to return they were provided with necessary information, and received individualized assistance tailored to their needs for up to six months after return, provided by the local partners. The reintegration process was monitored and followed-up for a period of up to 6 months after return.

A survey on the situation and needs of returnees in Ukraine, which was prepared by the  project staff in the above mentioned period, contains information about the general circumstances of return into Ukraine, an in-depth case study of 10 selected returnees to Ukraine and best practice of the ERSO Solidarity Net Ukraine project.

Download the survey "What and who is waiting for migrants after returning to Ukraine?"