Europe: cities are at the forefront of immigrant integration (Unofficial translation)
On 15 April, EU Commissioners for Regional Policy and for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship received Mayors, Vice-Mayors and political representatives from several European cities to discuss ways to effectively integrate recently-arrived migrants in urban areas. From the assumption that migration is largely an urban issue, and that successful integration of migrants in cities represents an opportunity in the long term, a round table on “How to strengthen the integration of migrants in an urban context” was organised.
Discussions revealed that, with challenges ranging from education to housing, cities are finding themselves at the forefront of the migration crisis. Therefore, they want a bigger say in national policies and better direct access to EU funding. A EuroCities survey carried out at the end of 2015 in 34 cities also highlights the need for cities to receive more funding and play a bigger role in policy-making during the current migration crisis. Cities must be able to determine their priorities and target groups, as they know exactly what is needed in terms of integration, the report argues. Most respondents cite strong collaboration with other cities at national level in the form of information exchange, joint advocacy work and study visits as a key element to achieve this goal