Integration of migrants: EU and member states must boost support for local government

15 February 2017

Local government should be empowered and allowed to do more: there is insufficient support from the national level and a true lack of funding. This was one of the messages of European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cre?u at the political roundtable on “How to strengthen the integration of migrants in cities” in Amsterdam on 7 February. 

This call was also voiced by CEMR vice president and former VVSG president Luc Martens, who stated that the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) should allocate a greater part of its budget to integration.
Integration has a cost. Lack of integration has a much higher cost. When it comes to migrant integration, local and regional governments have many serious needs they cannot deal with alone. The EU and its member states have the power and responsibility to support local governments with these issues.
More governance in partnership = better results
Migrant integration affects all spheres of government: from small local government to the European Union. For an efficient use of resources, coordination and exchange of good practices, among other examples, governance in partnership is a must when it comes to integration. Unfortunately, there is a lack of work in partnership between different spheres of government in this field. In particular, member states still have to go through with the Europe-wide migrant resettlement schemes.
CEMR is confident that towns and regions’ voices will be heard. At the event, among many local leaders such as the mayors of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin or Ghent, mayor of Athens Giorgos Kaminis was also present. He is one of the many Mayors who signed CEMR Call for a real common European asylum policy.
The second political roundtable on “How to strengthen the integration of migrants in cities” was organised by the city of Amsterdam in collaboration with DG REGIOand the partnership on the inclusion of refugees and migrants of the urban agenda.
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