MIDI- September Newsletter is out!
Like many of you, we are deeply shocked by the horrific developments in Afghanistan and the many people trying to flee and save their lives. Last Tuesday the EU home affairs ministers met for an extraordinary Council meeting to discuss what the recent developments mean for migration to the EU. Their joint declaration did not make any concrete reception offers, instead it emphasized the long-held mantra to prevent people from migrating and providing financial assistance to neighboring host countries. The failing commitment to increasing resettlement numbers was particularly criticized by Luxembourg’s foreign affairs minister Jean Asselborn, who said the EU should offer up to 50 000 additional resettlement places to Afghan refugees (he will join us for a public event soon, read more below). The European Council for Refugees and Exiles also demanded higher resettlement numbers and published further recommendations what the EU could do to alleviate the dire situation faced by Afghans.
While European nation states are thus failing to protect Afghans under threat, what gives us hope are the many cities and municipalities across Europe and the world, which reiterated their commitment to welcome those people looking for a safe place and offered to host refugees from Afghanistan. Over 50 cities around the globe signed an open letter calling on their national governments and the international community “to urgently work with the global network of city leaders and civil society to expand pathways and provide humanitarian support now”. Additionally, many more cities have also committed to welcoming Afghans, among them were Milan, Barcelona, London, Hamburg, Vienna, Geneve, Strasbourg, Lisbon and many more. You find their commitments on our Twitter Account.
These welcoming municipalities are growing in numbers and represent, together with the many civil society groups, a Europe that stands for solidarity and takes responsibility for protecting human lives. We are convinced that it is important to connect these actors transnationally, strengthen strategic partnerships and build a coherent European strategy that overcomes the deadlock that currently characterizes European migration policy.
To identify, connect and to visualise the many already existing networks of welcoming cities, municipalities, and civil society we just published a digital interactive mapping tool of all the existing city networks around migration and refugee issues, read more about it below.