Direct Municipal reception of refugees in European Cities

European migration and asylum policy has been at an impasse for years. While the European Union and the nation states are unable or unwilling to find solutions, more and more cities and municipalities are declaring themselves willing to take in people seeking protection. These welcoming municipalities are growing in number and stand for a Europe of solidarity that respects human rights and takes responsibility for the protection of human lives.

Europe urgently needs a medium and long-term strategy that does not see the arrival of protection seekers as a threat and crisis, but protects fundamental rights. Based on the many welcoming municipalities, we are pursuing a participatory and municipal approach to asylum and refugee policy in the project DIrect Municipal Reception of Refugees in European Cities. We aim to decentralize European asylum and refugee policy and bring it in line with European values. At the same time, democracy at the local level should be strengthened and participation in municipal development should be made possible. The voluntary reception and integration of refugees offer the opportunity to make community development inclusive, safe, sustainable and participatory.

Since September 2022, the 14-month project phase of our pilot project Re:Match on Relocation via Matching of refugees from Ukraine to German host communities has been running. Matching enables an individualized and needs-oriented reception and sends a strong political symbol of solidarity among the municipalities.

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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.

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Giulia Fellin

Alina Lyapina

Kyla Grigoleit

 

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Funding Partners:

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Our concepts for progressive European migration policy

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’.

 

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.

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 projects

Re:Match - Relocation via Matching

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From the Sea to the City - a Conference of Cities for a welcoming Europe

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Mapping of Networks for a Welcoming Europe

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Events of the Municipal Integration and Development Initiative (MIDI)

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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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