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EUROCITIES reports on how cities are integrating migrants

When migrants move, it is overwhelmingly to cities that they come. Migrant integration happens in cities, and it is overseen by local governments. EUROCITIES recently published its fourth Integrating Cities Report which gives a direct insight into how cities are integrating migrants today. It is now available to read in full here.

This fourth Integrating Cities Report is a snapshot of how cities integrate migrants in Europe and North America. It charters the progress cities have made over the last two and a half years and identifies commonalities across different approaches to integration and diversity.

The report is divided into three main chapters:

1) the context of integration in cities, which touches on the policy context at the EU level, national migration developments and the debate on migration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in cities;

2) the methodology of the Integrating Cities Charter; and

3) key integration actions in cities.

This third, and main, chapter outlines cities' integration measures, and identifies the following key trends across all cities:

  • Developing integration policies in a structured and sustainable way
  • Mainstreaming integration across different policy areas
  • Focusing on the specific integration needs of particular groups
  • Creating low-threshold access to integration services
  • Communicating openly about equal opportunities
  • Implementing an inclusive and participatory integration approach
  • Working towards more inclusive city administrations and procurement practices
  • Participating as key actors in the EU policy context and global governance on migration

These key overarching trends paint a clear picture of cities as leaders in implementing effective and future-oriented integration policies.  

EUROCITIES now guides cities on how to implement the Integrating Cities Charter through a digital toolkit 'VALUES'

The VALUES toolkit produced by EUROCITIES aims to guide European cities in implementing the Eurocities Integrating Cities Charter. The Charter sets out the duties and responsibilities of European cities to embrace the diversity of their population and to provide equal opportunities in their roles as policymakers, service providers, employers and buyers of goods and services. Launched in 2010, to date it has been signed by 42 cities.

'VALUES - Volunteering Activities to Leverage Urban and European Social integration of migrants', enables cities to exchange know-how, expertise, and good practices on how best to implement local actions. Led by Eurocities, it builds on the experience and success of past projects (CITIES GROW, MIXITIES, DIVE, INTI-Cities, ImpleMentoring) that together addressed the gaps in the implementation of the Integrating Cities Charter, which embodies the cities' commitment to third-country national's integration.

By connecting city authorities and volunteer organisations through communities of practices and staff exchange, VALUES aims to improve structural cooperation and build partnerships between cities and volunteer organisations in integrating third-country nationals, by building and developing 4 communities of practice or clusters, on the following themes:

A. Community building in cities to foster a welcoming culture

B. Innovative voluntary activities in integration: engaging migrants and refugees in volunteering activities for integration activities

C. Cities and volunteers' cooperation in migrant integration at neighbourhood (or 'community') level

D. Mobilising volunteers in engaging young migrant population in community life.

In these communities of practice, city officials and volunteers from 16 cities learn from each other in targeted workshops, sight visits, staff exchanges, on-the-ground training and action planning to identify and implement best practices in integration and overcome shared challenges.

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