Cities and municipalities play an extremely important role in the reception, inclusion and integration of people seeking sanctuary in Europe. City representatives increasingly claim a larger say in the formulation of asylum, migration, and integration policies.

At the same time, civil society groups in European cities and municipalities play an important role in receiving and supporting migrants and refugees. Next to the immediate humanitarian function, they play an important role in pressuring governments to protect refugees and to respect their rights, to create safe humanitarian corridors and to allocate sufficient resources to welcome refugees at the local level.

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 Project: Overcoming the Relocation blockade from below: how to build a transnational and municipal response to the EU Asylum and Migration policy

Europe’s migration policy has been in a deadlock for years. While the European Union and the nation states are unwilling and unable to find solutions, more and more cities are becoming agents of change for recreating Europe from below: A Europe that stands for solidarity and human rights and takes responsibility for protecting human lives. Many cities all over Europe have signalled their willingness to receive refugees into their communities. These welcoming municipalities are growing in numbers and represent a powerful political voice, able to relaunch Europe from the bottom-up.

It is important to connect these practices transnationally and build a coherent European strategy that overcomes the exclusive logic of nation states and is based on Europe’s core values and fundamental rights.

The project`s main goal is to identify and connect relevant actors and to build strategic partnerships between networks of welcoming cities, municipalities, and civil society. Strengthening relationships between these actors contributes to build more political pressure points to change the current European politics towards a human rights based migration policy with cities and civil society at its centre.

To make these networks visible and accessible we use a digital interactive mapping tool. The goal is to give actors from civil society, municipalities, researchers, and activist an overview of existing networks and actors on a European level, show interconnections, and possibilities for new alliances. At the same time, the visualisation tool shows policy makers that many European actors are willing to see change and are already actively working for it.

Visualisation: Cities and civil society networks for a Welcoming Europe

The digital network map visualizes relevant networks of municipalities and civil society actors engaged in the effort of welcoming people seeking sanctuary in Europe. The networks were selected according to their thematic focus: welcoming municipalities, alternative local-transnational relocation mechanisms and related topics of migration, integration, and asylum. We mapped over 1.000 actors and over 25 networks. Most of them are networks of cities and municipalities, thers are civil society networks working closely with cities and city-networks. Other networks are mixed. Most networks are active in the European Union, some on international, other only on national level.

To access all functions of the map visit our map at Graph Commons.


The interactive mapping tool has several goals: firstly, it wants to make relevant networks and their members visible and accessible to actors from civil society, municipalities, researchers, and activists. The map shows the already existing interconnections between different networks and visualizes relevant actor. Secondly, the map can be used as a tool to connect relevant actors and to build strategic partnerships between networks of cities, municipalities, and civil society all over Europe. At the same time, the tool wants to visualize the large number of European actors that are willing to see change and are already actively working for a welcoming Europe.


How does it work?

Screenshot 2021 08 18 at 14 22 21 Visualisation Cities and civil society networks for a Welcoming Europe - Networking

Navigate throught the map and zoom in and out to explore the different networks, actors and interconnections between them.

Each color represents a different category of actor.

Click on a network (blue dots) to find out more about it and its members.

Click on a municipality (green color) or a civil society actor (red color) to see in which networks they are involved.

If you open the visualisation in a new window, you will find a info and filter function in the top right corner.

Find instructions how to use further functions of the map here.



Did we miss any network/actor? Further feedback, suggestions or questions? please leave your feedback here or write to:





Further maps showcasing a welcoming Europe:


This map wants to showcase the solidarity that over a thousand municipalities in Europe have demonstrated and their w illingness to welcome asylum-seekers and refugees since the start of the migration crisis in 2015. This map is an ever-expanding work and is continuously being updated. The data collected are based on 1- news outlets and desk research, 2- declarations of mayors / councillors and motions for resolutions and 3- networks of welcoming cities.

It is runned by the Greens/EFA.