Migrants in Riace, Calabria, Italy, a town considered a model for integration, until recently. Photo: ANSA/CESARE ABBATE
Migrants in Riace, Calabria, Italy, a town considered a model for integration, until recently. Photo: ANSA/CESARE ABBATE

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and other four large associations of European entities (AER, CPMR, CEMR, Eurocities) have launched an initiative called "Cities and Regions for the Integration of Migrants" to work together on European policies for migrant integration.

A new initiative called "Cities and Regions for the Integration of Migrants" launched by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and four other large associations of European entities aims at teamwork to design and put into place European policies linked to migrant integration. The entities involved - the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), and Eurocities - also aim to work together to ask for financing for policies and share best practices as well as develop a positive narrative based on pooling solutions. The initiative has also gained the support of European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos. 


From the perspective of local entities 

CoR President Karl-Heinz Lambertz said the initiative already includes 83 cities from 17 different EU member states and said he hopes the numbers will continue to grow in the coming weeks. The initiative complements several that already exist on a European level and aims above all to contribute to shaping the EU agenda on migration, ensuring that the perspectives of local and regional entities are taken into consideration. 

'Cities know the added value of migrants' 

Lambertz said many regions and cities have already successfully welcomed and integrated migrants in their communities. "They know the added value that migrants bring and the cost of non-integration," he said. "We need a shared European approach that invests in the creation of cohesive, not divisive, communities," he said. Avramopoulos said that if someone asked him what he thought should be one of Europe's priorities over the coming decades, he would respond that it should be "the successful inclusion of migrants in our societies".
 

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