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.
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.
In our strategic and scientific work (policy & advocacy) we develop solutions and concepts for a decentralised and participatory European asylum and refugee policy.
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.
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.
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:
Events of the Municipal Integration and Development Initiative (MIDI)
MIDI in the Media
- Policy Brief: EU integration funding for cities
- October MIDI – Newsletter
- MIDI- September Newsletter is out!
- Brand new Visualisation: Cities and civil society networks for a Welcoming Europe
- “From the Sea to the City – A Conference of Cities for a Welcoming Europe”.
- Save the date! Conference From the Sea to the City
- New publication out: Ideas & Best practices for a welcoming Europe
- #Sea2City – First online panels were successful
- Federal admission of refugees: Gesine Schwan argues for a solidarity stance
- Digital Open Space: How is local participation possible in times of Covid-19?
Publications of the Municipal Integration and Development Initiative (MIDI)
- The New EU Budget: More access to migration and integration funding for cities or a missed opportunity?
- Legal Opinion Integration and Development Fund
- Programme – From the Sea to the City: a conference of cities for a Welcoming Europe
- From the sea to the city: Ideas, good practices and next steps for a welcoming Europe
- Report of Municipal Development Councils
- Options for action to strengthen municipalities in accepting refugees and in immigration policy
- Concept: Direct financing of the municipalities through a European development and integration fund
- Manifesto Relaunching Europe Bottom-Up
- Relaunching Europe Bottom-Up: Conference Report
- Note Conceptuelle: L’intégration européenne des réfugiés: vers un mouvement communautaire commun
- Concept note (short): Integration of Refugees in Europe as a joint municipal development
- Concept note (long): Integration of Refugees in Europe as a joint municipal development
- Konzeptpapier: Europäische Flüchtlingsintegration als gemeinsame kommunale Entwicklung
- Workshop report: Good practice exchange between Bottrop and Thessaloniki