“κανείς δε μένει χωρίς πατρίδα όσο θα υπάρχει η Θεσσαλονίκη”

“No one is left without a homeland as long as Thessaloniki exists" Nikiforos Choumno, 14th Century Byzantine Scholar

From 9-12 July, Thessaloniki hosted a delegation from Amsterdam and Zurich, as part of a mentoring visit organised by EUROCITIES and Migration Work. The mentoring visit focused on the city’s plan to create an overarching integration strategy and was prepared in the context of the Solidarity Cities Initiative with support from the Open Society Education Support Programme.

Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, is home to thousands of refugees who were left stranded after the closure of the ‘Balkan Road’ in March 2016. Several camps were opened around the city but the city also has several accommodation programmes in flats and hotels, either managed by the city authority itself or NGOs and international organisations.

A mentoring visit of Leeds and Stockholm to Milan took place from 26 to 29 June in the framework of the Solidarity Cities Initiative. EUROCITIES responded quickly in May to the need of Milan of making progress on the area of reception of unaccompanied minors as well as education for children of families with migrant background.

The official launch meeting of the CITIES GROW project ‘Cities integrating refugees and migrants through economic activities’ was held on 15-16 May in Brussels. Representatives from all 16 partner cities (Athens, Barcelona, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Dresden, Gdansk, Ghent, Helsinki, Lisbon, Munich, Nantes, Nicosia, Riga, Rotterdam, Tampere, Utrecht) as well 3 expert partner organisations (Migration Policy Group, Migration Policy Institute and Migration Work) attended the two day meeting. EUROCITIES, lead partner of the project, organised and coordinated the event while Migration Work provided training on the methodology to all partners.

Jaume Asens, Deputy Mayor for Citizenship Rights of the Barcelona City Council, met with the Mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, on the occasion of the Italian city's accession to the Solidarity Cities initiative. They explored how to increase cooperation between cities to address the refugee crisis.

Gathered in Amsterdam on 7 February for the second edition of the political roundtable on refugees, mayors of cities belonging to the EUROCITIES network (Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Gdansk, Ghent, Riga) kept up the pressure on the EU institutions to obtain direct EU funding for cities coping with refugee reception and integration issues, while reaffirming their willingness to play a direct role in the EU’s planned relocation system

In the framework of its Solidarity Cities initiative, EUROCITIES concluded an agreement with the foundation “Open Society Institute” for 2017. As part of the activities of the Open Society’s “Education support programme”, EUROCITIES will receive dedicated funding to organise two mentoring visits in 2017 in the field of Education for asylum seekers and refugees in cities. These visits will follow the mentoring methodology used in the ImpleMentoring project.

DG Home of the European Commission confirmed this week that the Cities-Grow project application was approved and would take place from 2017. This is a great news for EUROCITIES and for the 16 European cities involved in this call. 

More than ever in the context of the refugee crisis, European city leaders and decision makers need pragmatic, relevant and practical advice to address migrant integration challenges and develop effective migrant integration strategies to help reap on the potential of immigration.

DG Home of the European Commission confirmed this week that the Cities-Grow project application was approved and would take place from 2017. This is a great news for EUROCITIES and for the 16 European cities involved in this call. 

More than ever in the context of the refugee crisis, European city leaders and decision makers need pragmatic, relevant and practical advice to address migrant integration challenges and develop effective migrant integration strategies to help reap on the potential of immigration.

The CITIES-GROW (“Integration of migrants through economic activity in cities”) project will be coordinated by EUROCITIES (the network of major cities in Europe) with the support of Migration Policy Group, Migration Work-CIC and Migration Policy Institute, and will involve the active participation of 16 major cities in Europe:

Athens, Barcelona, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Dresden, Gdansk, Ghent, Helsinki, Lisbon, Munich, Nantes, Nicosia, Riga, Rotterdam, Tampere, Utrecht

CITIES-GROW will be a continuation of the ImpleMentoring project and will be built on the mentoring methodology which it successfully developed, tested and improved. This project built on the experience and success of other previous EIF funded EUROCITIES local integration projects (MIXITIES, DIVE and INTI-Cities) by shifting the focus from peer reviews and standard-setting towards policy implementation and concrete actions.

For any question please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0032 2 552 08 80

Cities strengthen their response to the refugee situation today with the launch of Solidarity Cities in Athens. An initiative of Giorgios Kaminis, mayor of Athens, Solidarity Cities will consolidate ongoing efforts at local level to receive and integrate refugees and will reinforce these by providing a platform for cities to exchange knowledge and expertise on this highly topical issue.

The initiative was launched today in Athens during the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum, following a political discussion between city leaders on how cities can better work together on refugee integration and reception.

EUROCITIES today launches a report on how major European cities are managing the reception and integration of refugees.

The report is the result of a survey carried out among EUROCITIES members and offers new insights into the situation in 34 different cities in 17 EU member states.

EUROCITIES calls for direct access to EU migration funds

Ritva Viljanen, deputy mayor of Helsinki, called for direct access for cities to EU Asylum, Migration & Integration Funding (AMIF) during a panel discussion hosted by European Commission DG Home on 29 September.

Cities of refuge: EUROCITIES members take

Johanna Rolland, EUROCITIES president and mayor of Nantes, explains how cities are showing leadership when it comes to welcoming refugees.

Cities are at the forefront of the asylum crisis

Anna Lisa Boni, EUROCITIES secretary general, explains the challenges cities face in dealing with the current asylum crisis; this article originally appeared in EurActiv.

EUROCITIES joins asylum discussions with MEPs

We shared our cities' experiences of dealing with asylum and migration at a LIBE committee meeting in the European Parliament.

Cities play important role in receiving & integrating asylum seekers

In our statement on asylum in cities, we call for a comprehensive EU migration policy that recognises the challenges faced by cities and local level solutions.

Local politicians discuss asylum and migration

Nine local politicians met in Osmangazi on 11 March for a closed discussion on asylum and migration issues in cities.