Municipal Integration and Development Initiative - MIDI

Many of today’s most pressing social issues are of transnational nature: climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, migration, and refugee movements do not stop at national borders. At the same time, there is growing mistrust in the problem-solving capacity of democracy and of the European Union. Creative, democratic, sustainable, and effective approaches are needed to find answers to challenges such as the increasing economic and social inequality, an inhumane migration and refugee policy and the climate crisis. Municipalities can play an important part in solving these issues. They are directly confronted with the impacts of global challenges and are forced to develop sustainable solutions locally.

The Municipal Integration and Development Initiative (MIDI) therefore starts at the local level. We develop governance concepts in which municipalities play a central role. Jointly shaping  participatory municipal development is essential to find satisfactory and equitable solutions to the complex challenges posed by globalisation.


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In our strategic and scientific work (policy & advocacy) we develop solutions and concepts for a decentralised and participatory European asylum and refugee policy.


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Part of our networking work (coordination & co-creation) is to identify and connect relevant German and European actors and to build strategic partnerships between networks of cities and municipalities as well as transnational civil society networks.


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In our practical implementation work (innovation & piloting), we work on models and pilot projects. Together with municipalities, we test our concepts at the local level.

DSC 0004 300x200 - Municipal Integration and Development Initiative - MIDILead: Dr. Malisa Zobel

Communication: Giulia Fellin

Project Assistant: Johannes Krabbe

 

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Funding Partners:

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Current project: Reception and Integration of Refugees in Europe as a Joint Municipal Development

European migration and asylum policy has been at an impasse for years. While the European Union and its member states are unable or unwilling to find solutions, more and more cities and municipalities are ready to take in those seeking protection. These welcoming municipalities are growing in number and stand for a welcoming Europe that respects human rights and protects human lives.

Europe urgently needs a medium and long-term strategy that does not frame the arrival of refugees as a threat and a crisis but emphasizes the opportunities that come with newcomers. In this project, we pursue a participatory and municipal asylum and refugee policy that builds on the many welcoming municipalities. We aim to decentralise the European asylum and refugee policy and bring it in line with European values. Simultaneously, democracy and participation at the local level should be strengthened.

The voluntary reception and integration of refugees offers an opportunity to shape the development of a municipality in an inclusive, safe, sustainable, and participatory way.

To achieve this goal, our work focuses on four concepts:

European Fund

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A European Integration and Development Fund should provide local authorities with funding for reception and integration. Municipalities willing to receive refugees on a voluntary basis should be able to access this funding, mtogether with additional funding for their own municipal development.

Development Councils

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The application to the here proposed EU fund should be prepared by Municipal Development Councils. The councils involve various stakeholder groups at the local level to enhance democratic legitimacy.

Matching Method

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A Matching Method could incorporate both municipalities’ and refugees’ preferences in the relocation and resettlement process. After matching the preferences of municipalities and refugees, refugees could indicate a preference for a municipality from the ‘matches’.

 

Networking

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Networking: We want to offer a networking and exchange platform on municipal refugee reception and integration. For this purpose, we provide background research and policy papers and organize joint networking meetings.

Current activities

From the Sea to the City - a conference of cities for a welcoming Europe

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Visualisation: Networks for a Welcoming Europe

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Our Newsletter

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Events of the Municipal Integration and Development Initiative (MIDI)

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MIDI in the Media

Online Article

Our posts

Publications of the Municipal Integration and Development Initiative (MIDI)

Previous Activities of the Municipal Integration and Development Initiative (MIDI)

Multi-Stakeholder-Workshops for Sustainable Investments in Europe (2015-2016)

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Municipalities for a Strong Europe (2015)

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Energy Transition as a Mean of Strengthening Local Communities in Greece

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