As many as 45 city representatives of the EUROCITIES Working Group on Migration and Integration met in Milan on 8-9 November. The WG meeting included two visits to the reception centres run by the city of Milan and a centre for job orientation and placement.
EUROCITIES Working Group on Migration and Integration met in Milan on 8-9 November, back to back with the Integrating Cities Conference VIII – Cities4People: Migrating ideas, inspiring integration. The meeting kick-started giving the opportunity for members, more than 45 city representatives, to attend two parallel thematic site visits.
The first one, focusing on the theme of Labour Market integration, brought the members to the Centre for Job Orientation and Placement (CELAV) of Milan.
The goal of CELAV is to promote the professional and socio-economic integration of people, above all people in need of greater support. There are various specialised teams in CELAV: the philosophy of the centre is to work on the complexity and specificity of the different needs, avoiding standardised interventions. One of the teams focuses on refugees and asylum seekers. CELAV represents a successful model in which the city authorities work together with the private sector: a cooperative dealing with the orientation and support to the users and the companies hiring them. Another peculiarity is the capacity of CELAV to offer a complete set of services: information, orientation, take in charge of the disadvantage person, job placement.
The second group visited two different reception centres, to capture the Italian national model of CAS-Centres for Extraordinary Reception (first level of reception of asylum seekers) and SPRAR-Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (second level of reception, more focused on inclusion). The first visit to the ‘Casa Chiaravalle’ presented the project ‘Insieme Casa Chiaravalle’ (Together Casa Chiaravalle). This building, confiscated from the mafia in the Lombardy region, was inaugurated in May 2018. The house was converted into a shelter mainly for Italian and foreign women, especially victims of violence, abuse, torture and trafficking. In Casa Chiaravalle women are helped to start a new life. Casa Chiaravalle also hosts a section that works as a reception centre for asylum seekers (CAS), while they are waiting for the outcome of their asylum application.
Three cities, Gdansk, Leipzig and Thessaloniki got feedback from other members to develop an action plan on better economic integration of migrants in their cities.