European mayors on the refugee crisis: “We are committed to the values of solidarity and human dignity!”
City-to-city cooperation can help tackling the refugee crisis. This message was shared by EU mayors at the “Solidacities” event organised at the European Parliament on 18 October.
The conference brought together local representatives from around Europe, civil society organisations and refugees themselves to reflect on the way the refugee inflow has been and can be handled at the local level.
Indeed, cities are actually those that are addressing the humanitarian context in the forefront, often with very limited resources.
Domestically, the mayors highlighted the recent wave of citizen mobilisation to welcome and host refugees. Services like language classes, childcare, and reproductive health assistance were some of the priorities identified by participants as being particularly crucial for the local level.
All Mayors present agreed on the importance for cities to unite and share best practices and expertise. The City of Badalona in Spain, for instance, called for an alliance of cities cooperating to better address the challenge.
Moreover, decentralised cooperation was seen as a fundamental complement to cities’ domestic response to the migration crisis. The City of Madrid, for example, is currently funding humanitarian programmes in Jordan and Lebanon through UNHCR, and supporting legal assistance for refugees in the Greek islands.
For more information on why decentralised cooperation matters for migration, please read PLATFORMA’s position paper.
Watch the videos of the event.
You can also sign CEMR #localgov4refugees petition