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Integration of migrants in middle and small cities and in rural areas in Europe

As part of its Cities and Regions for Integration initiative, the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR) published the study 'Integration of migrants in middle and small cities and in rural areas in Europe' which explores the context and structures through which cities have increasingly found themselves key to migrant integration.

The report adds to the larger body of research which focuses predominantly on larger cities, and explores concrete examples from across the EU. It finds that:

  • There is generally a positive attitude to migration, with both smaller cities and migrants benefitting from integration;
  • Migrants benefit from having access to smaller cities' closer networks and the increased interactions with the local population;
  • A challenge for smaller cities is achieving long-term integration as migrants often seek to leave for bigger cities;
  • Cities often end up dealing with integration gaps left on the national level, are more adaptable and provide diverse activities; at the same time, they also find themselves stretched due to limited funding and capacity;
  • Cities can benefit from working together, as well as from better administrative coordination and monitoring.

The document calls for a EU-wide needs assessment and outlines the ways in which the CoR could support the work of cities.


Dr Jean-Pierre Gauci
Posted by:
Integration Expert