Cities have long been attractive destinations for migrants and international migrants have become a common feature of European cities today. The arrivals of migrants and refugees in Europe will continue to increase diversity in our cities. As frontline managers of social cohesion, cities have a big task on their hands to promote the positive values of diversity and mitigate the risk of social polarisation and segregation.
Integration happens at local level and cities have a key role in building inclusive and welcoming communities, where no one is left behind. Cities also have a role to play in challenging the public perception of asylum seekers and promoting better understanding of our collective responsibility to respect their basic human rights and right to protection. Successful migration policies therefore work in two ways: ensuring that migrants are welcomed into the host society while also ensuring the host society’s services and policies are adapted to a diverse population.