#Sea2City – First online panels were successful

On World Refugee Day, June 20, 2020, the initiative From the Sea to the City launched a campaign for a human rights-based EU refugee policy. Due to the ongoing corona pandemic, the conference of European cities and civil society planned for this summer in Palermo had to be postponed to April 16 & 17, 2021. To ensure that the time until then can still be used efficiently, the initiative is organizing several online panels around the five demands of the consortium for a new approach to EU refugee policy.

The first panel “Solidarity Cities of Europe – How can we work together on progressive migration policy?” already took place on July 2, 2020. Leoluca Orlando (Mayor of Palermo), Lea Enon-Baron (Anvita – France), Massimiliana Odorizzi (Europe Must Act – Greece) and Marc Serra (Barcelona City Council) discussed how civil society and cities can collaborate better. You can watch the recorded online panel in full length here.

Yesterday, 30th September 2020, the second online panel “Which way forward in Europe? EU Funding for a solidary migration policy” took place. This and all following events can be followed on Facebook via livestream. Malisa Zobel, member of “From the Sea to the City”, discussed with Gesine Schwan (HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform), Rossella Nicoletti (Eurocities), Carlos Mascarell Vilar (Council of European Municipalities and Regions), Jan Braat and Niene Oepkes (City of Utrecht) how to join forces to redefine the European attitude towards migration and refugees with cities and human rights at the center. A growing number of cities and municipalities all over Europe have already declared their readiness to welcome migrants and refugees. What these cities need are the resources to finance reception, housing and inclusion, as well as additional investments into community building. The panel discussed the obstacles that cities are currently facing regarding EU funding as well as novel proposals and best practice examples for a concrete strategy for the future. Watch the full debate here.

Further online panel discussions will follow in October and November, in which further central topics on #EUmigration will be debated.