In a recent event, local and regional authorities led by Giuseppe Varacalli, member of Renew Europe in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), discussed how to promote integration of migrants and refugees, intercultural interaction and social cohesion in increasingly diverse societies with representatives of the European Commission and other European institutions, academia and civil society. Attendees also spoke about multi-level coordination and an intercultural approach to the integration of migrants and refugees in cities and regions across Europe.
Varcalli, Rapporteur on the Attracting skills and talent to the EU report, said:
“For Europe to grow, we need everyone, so let’s break down the fences, let’s fight illegal migration and promote synergies between member states. We need legal migrants, especially if they have skills and talents essential to the EU. This is vital for our economic recovery as well as for the digital and green transition.”
But, he stressed, legal routes to Europe for migrants are vital to stop the people-smugglers and avoid tragedies such as Cutro, the site of a recent shipwreck in Italy that took the lives of over 70 people.
Established in 2019 by CoR, the Cities and Regions for the Integration of Migrants network provides a political platform for European mayors and regional leaders to showcase positive examples of integration of migrants and refugees, share relevant information and promote diversity as an added value to building inclusive cities and ensuring social cohesion. The initiative is run in cooperation with the European Commission and several European territorial associations – Eurocities, CEMR, CPMR and AER.
Photo Credit: European Committee of the Regions