Municipal Development Councils
The reception and integration of refugees can pose a challenge for many municipalities. Nevertheless, it also offers great opportunities. Integration into local society and into the labour market works best when all relevant groups of actors are involved. Municipal Development Councils are based on this principle. These Councils consist of the city’s three main stakeholder groups plus scientific advice. These include:
- politics and administration,
- civil society,
- additionally, scientific disciplines can have an observatory and advisory function and advisor.
Municipal Development Councils at local level should co-create recommendations for the further development of the community. In this context, recommendations may include suggestions on whether and how refugee reception can be part of long term local development strategies and how inclusion and participation of the novel residents can be best ensured. By involving the important different stakeholder groups at the local level, the recommendation for additional reception builds on a broad basis of legitimacy. Furthermore, it enables, responsibility sharing, as many different actors are involved. By deciding what to do with the additional funds, the whole municipality turns towards a development perspective in which the reception and integration of refugees is an essential part of the development process and a constant progress of the city. These Municipal Development Councils can also support the municipality’s application for additional reception and further EU funding.
Moreover, Municipal Development Councils strengthen the cooperation and understanding between stakeholder groups. The different perspectives make it possible to bundle resources and competencies of various actors and thus increase the problem solving capacity and efficiency.