Cities and migrants: Implementing the Integrating Cities Charter
The fourth Integrating Cities report, Cities and migrants: Implementing the Integrating Cities Charter, provides direct insight into how cities are integrating migrants today. It gives an overview of the relevant EU policy context, national developments, the impact of COVID-19, and local action taken in cities over the last two years.
While integration practices vary between cities according to local context, many share the same vision of inclusivity for their citizens and have seen similar essential developments. The Integrating Cities Charter serves as a common framework by which to embrace and encourage cities' progress.
The report focuses on cities' efforts to:
- Develop integration policies in a structured and sustainable way, as seen in Amsterdam’s new ‘Amsterdam Approach to Civic Integration’;
- Mainstream integration across different policy areas, as seen at Vienna’s Centre of Refugee empowerment;
- Meet the specific integration needs of particular groups, as in London’s ‘Social Integration Strategy’;
- Create low-threshold access to integration services, such as Helsinki’s free counselling service;
- Communicate openly about equal opportunities (eg. the ‘Everybody is different, everybody is Ghent' campaign in Belgium);
- Implement an inclusive and participatory integration approach, as in Oulu’s migrant union;
- Run more inclusive city administrations and procurement practices, as Toronto does through its Executive Talent Forum;
- Participate as key actors in EU policy development and global governance, including cities’ cross-border cooperation on undocumented migrants in the City Initiative on Migrants with Irregular Status.
Case study: Vienna’s CoRE project
The Centre of Refugee Empowerment (CoRE) project ran from 2016 - 2019. The project focused on supporting asylum seekers and refugees to develop long-term perspectives from their very first day in Vienna, through targeted provision of activities and programmes. CoRE worked with public institutions, organisations and civil society initiatives to offer support with social life and health services, labour market access, professional training, entrepreneurship and public communication.
Case study: Nuremberg’s Integreat App
Overall the report finds that cities, in their roles as policymakers, service providers, employers, and buyers of goods and services, are making considerable progress in integrating migrants. They are key actors in the integration of migrants and in ensuring equal opportunities for all.