October MIDI – Newsletter
In our last newsletter we wrote about the dire situation faced by Afghans trying to escape Taliban rule. Many are still trapped inside the country unable to leave, while European cities are still offering to welcome them. How broad the landscape of welcoming and inclusive cities around Europe has already grown is shown by three new mappings and visualizations: Europe Welcomes, our own visualisation of welcoming cities networks and the Moving Cities map. Mainly due to the pressure of Luxembourg, the EU Commission has held a high-level resettlement forum on Afghanistan with the aim to coordinate resettlement efforts among member states and agree on fixed numbers but to no avail. Though all the relevant ministers and commissioners were present in the meeting, the outcome was only a vague commitment to help Afghans in need.
European member states seem to lack any viable solution to migration and refugee movements, the open letter by twelve countries, including the usual suspects from the Visegrád group but also the Baltic states and Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, and Greece, calling for what many have called ‘legalizing pushbacks’ is incompatible with European and international law. Moreover, they demand to re-direct EU funds to secure the external borders, money that could be better used to fund integration and development efforts in Europe’s local communities. This open letter comes at a time, when six migrants have died at Polish external borders and Poland has proceeded to openly challenge the primacy of EU law. In a series of events that we co-organize, we will discuss a different European approach to asylum and migration based on Gesine Schwan’s new Book “Europe is failing” with German mayors, politicians and sea rescue organizations (see events here).
Germany, among some other high number destination countries, has not signed the letter and the outcome of the German elections gives hope for a different approach to migration and refugee issues not only at the national but also at the European level, as our colleagues argue in a piece for German online magazine MIGazin.
Read the complete newsletter here!