On 10 April, during the plenaries of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), the initiative of “Cities and Regions for Integration” was launched. The European Committee of the Regions along with the leading European associations of cities & regions – the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and Eurocities – have built a coalition for this initiative to shape the EU’s migration agenda in order to ensure that the local and regional perspective is better taken into account in the future.
This initiative will offer regions, municipalities and cities a platform to:
- Contribute to better EU policies and funding for the integration of migrants;
- Gather information on the EU funding;
- Promote a positive and inclusive message on migration;
- Exchange experiences between local and regional authorities.
The AER President, Magnus Berntsson, spoke during the launch of the initiative and emphasized AER’s belief that Europe derives its strength from diversity. Additionally, Mr Berntsson stressed AER member regions’ dedication to cooperate to more effectively manage migration and harness the benefits of diversity for better social cohesion outcomes, through multi-level and multi-actor cooperation.
He also stressed that unless the EU and national governments make the multilevel migration, governance system work and enhance their financial support to regions to undertake their fundamental role in integrating new arrivals and creating inclusive communities, it will be difficult for Europe to successfully manage migration and achieve the benefits of diversity and building cohesive societies.
The Assembly of European Regions believes that the future of Europe is one that upholds its fundamental values of diversity, equality and solidarity. Those are the principles we are committed to advance by joining this initiative. We encourage all European regions, municipalities and cities to join too.