15 April 2016
A new report by EUROCITIES emphasises the role cities can play in the reception and integration of refugees and explores how cities are adapting their services to ensure newcomers can integrate into the local community. EUROCITIES has collected information from 34 cities in 17 EU Member States and Norway.
According to the report, although most cities did not have a legal mandate or a specific budget to care for asylum seekers and refugees, local authorities showed great leadership in coordinating different services and external stakeholders, sometimes in the absence of a national response. In fact, certain countries like Germany and the Netherlands have implemented legal changes in order to facilitate actions at the local level.
The report also found that the inclusion of newly arrived children into the education system is a priority for many city authorities, which are putting in place a wide range of additional services and projects aimed at asylum seekers and refugees. Munich’s city administration for instance, provides counselling and vocational training for teenagers.
“Cities are frontline actors in the refugee situation. Our report demonstrates their leadership in finding solutions, bringing partners together and fostering what will be the next step for refugee; successful integration in our societies. To achieve this, cities must be better supported financially and have a say in the governance of migration in Europe,” said Thomas Jézéquel, Policy Advisor at EUROCITIES, to the ECRE Weekly Bulletin.
The report argues that cities should be alongside national governments and NGOs in the list of bodies that are eligible for EU emergency financial assistance in responding to ‘migratory pressures’.
For further information:
- EUROCITIES, Cities welcome refugees: Unaccompanied minors in Malmo, 12 April 2016
- Asylum Information Database (AIDA), Wrong counts and closing doors: New AIDA comparative report on reception, March 2016
This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 15 April 2016. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.