The sudden high arrivals of migrants and refugees in Europe in 2015 saw cities directly confronted with the challenge of reception and quick integration, in the context of a difficult political debate and lack of funding.
City authorities found themselves on the frontline of the refugee situation, and had to quickly adapt to strengthen their reception, social cohesion and integration policies. To cope with this challenge, cities introduced innovative, practical and effective initiatives. The refugee situation affected and reshaped local integration policies, leading cities to focus on solutions for the early integration of refugees and asylum seekers. City authorities have implemented new concrete solutions to provide immediate accommodation, transport, language courses, schooling, vocational training and support to find housing and employment. Cities did so in particular by:
- Creating new bodies, implementing new strategies and strengthening policies;
- Adopting a holistic approach involving different city offices;
- Mainstreaming integration across their policies and services;
- Opening up to a number of local actors to pursue a multi-stakeholder approach.
The Integrating Cities Report is a monitoring report published regularly by EUROCITIES. It contains an assessment of cities’ policies and practices on migrants integration, with a complement of practices on four areas:
- Cities as policy makers
- Cities as service providers
- Cities as employers
- Cities as buyers of goods and services
The Cities and Migrants 3 report is based on the contributions of 22 signatory cities of the Integrating Cities Charter, the overarching policy framework of EUROCITIES for integration. The Charter sets out cities’ commitments on the integration of migrants to provide equal opportunities and promote diversity.
This 3rd edition highlights new trends on integration in major European cities with a special focus on developments following the refugee situation from 2015 and challenges reported by city authorities.