JOIN THE CAMPAIGN

FOR A WELCOMING EUROPE

Welcoming People with open arms

A growing number of municipalities and regions in Europe are prepared to welcome asylum seekers; and many citizens want to help and show solidarity. We want to make sure that people who want to welcome other people with open arms are actually able to do so, and without being harassed or intimidated.

Fighting for a welcoming Europe

“You can really set something in motion by simply showing an interest.” writes Kristina Koch, a journalist and refugee worker at the organisation Willkommen in Nippes, in Cologne. She tells us the story of Thaer Jafar, a Syrian refugee with an incredible talent, and reminds us that small gestures can make a world of difference.

Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!

Barcelona was shaken by mass public demonstrations in loud support of refugees and asylum seekers. Júlia Trias, from the Barcelona Councillor's Office for Citizens’ Rights, writes about how the city is developing cutting edge projects to assist those who fall through the gaps.

From Afghan war refugee to refugee rights campaigner

Escaping war-torn Afghanistan, Syed saw little humanity during his dangerous journey to Italy. But then, the kindness of a pizza chef and an Italian teacher inspired him to stay, complete his University degree and fight for refugee rights.

A windmill of solidarity

In a Dutch story of solidarity and support, Femke de Vries, Policy officer for the Dutch Council for Refugees, tells of their nationwide campaign to resettle 500 children from refugee camps in Greece to safe haven in the Netherlands.

From the Moria refugee camp to the Belgian countryside

After a fire destroyed the refugee camp in Moria (Greece) where she had been staying, Claire* and ten other unaccompanied minors were relocated to Belgium. Claire was fostered by Wim and his family, on their farm in the Belgian countryside.

Alice Bah Kuhnke Damian Boeselager Saskia Bricmont Damien Carême Tineke Strik Ernest Urtasun
Opinion by Alice Bah Kuhnke & Damian Boeselager & Saskia Bricmont & Damien Carême & Tineke Strik & Ernest Urtasun

Europe says “Refugees Welcome!”

We are proud to launch a new interactive tool, EuropeWelcomes.org, to showcase the success stories behind the cities and municipalities across Europe that have opened their doors to refugees.

SHOWCASE SOLIDARITY

Since the start of the migration crisis in 2015, over a thousand municipalities in Europe have demonstrated their willingness to welcome asylum-seekers and refugees. But despite the willingness of people across the EU to show compassion, shelter and assistance to refugees, EU asylum policy currently prevents cities and municipalities to receive those in need.

BUT YOU CAN ACT!

Check out our interactive map, and discover the communities that are willing to welcome, place your city there or write to your mayor. Also make sure to read our blog!

WELCOMING PEOPLE WITH OPEN ARMS

A growing number of municipalities and regions in Europe are prepared to welcome asylum seekers; and many citizens want to help and show solidarity. We want to make sure that people who want to welcome other people with open arms are actually able to do so, and without being harassed or intimidated.

EU GOVERNMENTS BLOCKING AND CRIMINALISING SOLIDARITY

In today’s European Union, the voice of citizens wanting to welcome refugees and asylum seekers is not taken into account. People and NGOs helping refugees with food and water or rescuing people at sea are even being harassed and criminalised.

We need to stand up for and support the people who are being harassed for their humanity, and reform the Migration and Asylum Pact so that those who want to welcome refugees can do so properly.

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WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE

Specifically, we want to support the solidarity of NGOs and citizens that are rescuing people, influence decision makers and rally around NGOs that are being criminalised for helping refugees and asylum seekers. We believe that citizens’ initiatives and the work of NGOs should be a starting point in any future solidarity and relocation schemes in Europe.

Also, since the current Pact on Migration & Asylum discussed by European institutions does not address the growing movement of local communities, it needs to be reformed. We want to make sure that it reflects the clear support for “welcoming” initiatives, so that national authorities stop blocking people from welcoming those in need.

HOW WE WORK FOR A WELCOMING EUROPE

Let’s support solidarity !

  • We support NGOs and citizens that are being harassed, receive threats and are sometimes dragged to court because they rescue refugees and migrants at sea, or because they give them water, food or clothes.
  • We raise awareness around these cases and put pressure on national governments to fight against these worrying trends in many Member States
  • We showcase local initiatives throughout Europe that are ready to welcome asylum seekers and refugees, and amplify their voices on EU level
  • We mobilise EU citizens to take action and put pressure on their local governments to show solidarity and follow the example of other cities and municipalities
  • We team up with NGOs, researchers, think tanks and Green municipalities to raise awareness around these initiatives
  • We advocate for the voluntary reception capacity concept on EU level (to be included in the Migration Pact) and for the fact that the EU should provide financial incentives to municipalities and regions receiving asylum seekers.

READ MORE

WATCH

Be Part of A Welcoming Europe

POLICY

Christopher Jahn/IFRC (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

For a fair and efficient asylum system in Europe

ACTION

Place your hometown on the Welcome Map!

Press release

Photo by Phil Botha on Unsplash

EU must put human rights at the centre of migration deals

 

@d_boeselager

EU Blue Card Deal reached: Step towards a fairer migration system