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Europe welcomes: The role of municipalities in EU's asylum system

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Speakers from local governments, faith-organisation networks, NGO communities, migrant-led organisations and institutions will explore the welcoming nature of local communities and municipalities and discuss how municipalities can be better integrated in EU asylum policy.

The conference will explore alternatives which can better highlight the crucial role of local communities in EU legislations including through better and simplified access to structural funds and a more active role in the future relocation mechanism.

Since 2015, it has become more and more apparent that the European Union needs to reform its asylum system to ensure that a fair, efficient and humane approach is put in place. For the system to be effective, all Member States must take responsibility and contribute to EU-wide solidarity. However, the last years have shown that there is a lack of political will from national governments to contribute to relocations in a meaningful and sustainable way.  [WN1] 

Over the past years, hundreds of cities, municipalities as well as many regions in Europe have spoken out more clearly on the question of asylum policy. Many have declared their willingness and preparedness to welcome asylum-seekers and refugees. Despite being the ones to cope with the accommodation, care and integration of refugees, municipalities have been consulted and included only to a limited extent in institutional and legal frameworks.

To read more about this initiative, visit our website: www.europewelcomes.org


IT - DE - ES- EN - FR interpretation will be provided

14:00 - 14:05: MEP Damian Boeselager to open event

14:05 - 14:10: Opening Remarks by the Portuguese Presidency, State Secretary, Claudia Pereira

14:10-15:00: Panel 1 - The experience of willing communities (50 mins)
Moderated by Teri Schultz

  • Deputy Mayor of Leuven, Lies Corneillie 
  • Seebrücke, Alina Lyapina
  • Unire, European Coalition of Refugees, Syed Hasnain
  • ARCI Italy, Filippo Miraglia
  • MEP Damien Careme, Chair of ANVITA

15:00-15:50: Panel 2 on the role of municipalities in the future EU asylum policy (50 mins)
Moderated by Shada Islam

  • Mayor of Strasbourg, Jeanne Barseghian
  • Caritas Belgium, Anne Dussart
  • Co-founder and President of the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform, Gesine Schwan
  • Barcelona Councillor's Office for Citizen Rights, Júlia Trias

15:50 - 15:55: Remarks by the European Commission, DG HOME Legal Migration and Integration, Laura Corrado

15:55 - 16:00: Closure of the event by MEP Tineke Strik, Ernest Urtasun and Saskia Bricmont




Policy Paper

Responsible MEPs

Damian Boeselager
Damian Boeselager
Saskia Bricmont
Saskia Bricmont
Damien Carême
Damien Carême
Tineke Strik
Tineke Strik
Ernest Urtasun
Ernest Urtasun

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