In cooperation with the Municipality of Lampedusa and the Science Po, ALDA launched the initiative “The Gates of Europe: Global migrants and local development”. The event took place on 6 May in Lampedusa, symbol of the migration flows in Europe in the last decade. The activity had the objective of identifying feasible solutions for all local communities affected by global challenges such as migration. Participants exchanged on what local communities can do for Europe and what Europe can do for local communities affected by the migration emergency.

The debate was opened by Ms Cécile Kyenge, MEP, rapporteur of the “Report on the Mediterranean”, showcased as an EU global and holistic approach to migration. The report has been recently adopted by the European Parliament and approaches the migration issue by a short, medium and long term perspective. “Migration is a complex phenomenon and it is unthinkable to manage it with the same tools used in the previous decade. It cannot be tackled but only managed via a global approach, involving all stakeholders, particularly local authorities and civil society associations. Europe can get out of the migration crisis only via an effective internal and external solidarity”, stated Ms Kyenge.

Ten points summarise the key elements of the Report: to put human life at the heart of the EU policy on migration; to overcome Dublin’ regulations no longer able to manage the current migration flows with a new European centralised asylum system; force Member states to respect the reallocation mechanism; open humanitarian corridors; revise the visa system; strengthen EU action against human trafficking; save Schengen; open legal channels of migration; set up an action plan at EU level on migrants’ integration; relaunch Europe’s action to tackle the root causes of migration. The objective of the document is to also fight populistic movements that exploit the crisis for electoral purposes against the actual needs of European communities.

Mr Alessandro Perelli, Vice-President of ALDA, welcomed the emphasis of the report on the role of local authorities and civil society associations in managing the migration emergency and promoting integration. The European institutions and Member States should acknowledge such role and set up proper responses and mechanisms to support all the successful initiatives promoted at the local level. Support local authorities’ decentralised cooperation action in partnership with civil society is key in managing the migration phenomenon. ALDA’s programme of Local Democracy Agencies, developed in most of the Neighbourhood region, represents a successful tool to get inspired from. Mr Perelli stressed the necessity to base European and national policies on migration on the success of concrete practices developed at the local level as in Lampedusa.

The second panel promoted the exchange of good practices among the Municipalities of Grande-Synthe, Ventimiglia, Lampedusa, Barcelona, Palermo and Lampedusa. “Solutions will come from successful local practices”, stated Mr Careme, Mayor of Grande-Synthe while showcasing the initiative welcoming and providing shelter to more than 2800 migrants in a local community with around 22 000 inhabitants. Not only incoming flows but also expelled migrants from France has particularly been affecting the Municipality of Ventimiglia. Mr Enrico Ioculano, Mayor, underlined the need of a better governance in migrants’ management. Local authorities should be empowered with more competencies rather than these being spread among too many institutional actors at different level with scares cooperation. The panel also benefited of the videos interventions of Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona and Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo. “We need to change EU policies on migration by getting together and bringing in our experience and perspective. A different Europe more linked to the principles of the founding fathers has to be built”, stated the first. Mr Orlando’s intervention can be summarised by his closing remarks “Migrants contribute to make the globalisation image more human. They make us, Europeans, reflect upon how we apply human rights within our borders”.

Mr Francesco lo Piccolo, President of the Association of the European Schools of Planning, concluded the session by bringing in the perspective of how urban planning and citizenship are close interrelated, with particular reference to migrants’ integration processes. Integration cannot be exclusively promoted through the legislative mechanism, barriers to a fulfilled citizenship need to be removed substantially and urban planning does play an important role. When public spaces able to bring different parts of the community together are not existent, access to rights is denied by substantial factors and this can be the results of conscious or unconscious policies.

In cooperation with the Municipality of Lampedusa and the Science Po, ALDA launched the initiative “The Gates of Europe: Global migrants and local development”. The event took place on 6 May in Lampedusa, symbol of the migration flows in Europe in the last decade. The activity had the objective of identifying feasible solutions for all local communities affected by global challenges such as migration. Participants exchanged on what local communities can do for Europe and what Europe can do for local communities affected by the migration emergency.

The debate was opened by Ms Cécile Kyenge, MEP, rapporteur of the “Report on the Mediterranean”, showcased as an EU global and holistic approach to migration. The report has been recently adopted by the European Parliament and approaches the migration issue by a short, medium and long term perspective. “Migration is a complex phenomenon and it is unthinkable to manage it with the same tools used in the previous decade. It cannot be tackled but only managed via a global approach, involving all stakeholders, particularly local authorities and civil society associations. Europe can get out of the migration crisis only via an effective internal and external solidarity”, stated Ms Kyenge.

Ten points summarise the key elements of the Report: to put human life at the heart of the EU policy on migration; to overcome Dublin’ regulations no longer able to manage the current migration flows with a new European centralised asylum system; force Member states to respect the reallocation mechanism; open humanitarian corridors; revise the visa system; strengthen EU action against human trafficking; save Schengen; open legal channels of migration; set up an action plan at EU level on migrants’ integration; relaunch Europe’s action to tackle the root causes of migration. The objective of the document is to also fight populistic movements that exploit the crisis for electoral purposes against the actual needs of European communities.

Mr Alessandro Perelli, Vice-President of ALDA, welcomed the emphasis of the report on the role of local authorities and civil society associations in managing the migration emergency and promoting integration. The European institutions and Member States should acknowledge such role and set up proper responses and mechanisms to support all the successful initiatives promoted at the local level. Support local authorities’ decentralised cooperation action in partnership with civil society is key in managing the migration phenomenon. ALDA’s programme of Local Democracy Agencies, developed in most of the Neighbourhood region, represents a successful tool to get inspired from. Mr Perelli stressed the necessity to base European and national policies on migration on the success of concrete practices developed at the local level as in Lampedusa.

The second panel promoted the exchange of good practices among the Municipalities of Grande-Synthe, Ventimiglia, Lampedusa, Barcelona, Palermo and Lampedusa. “Solutions will come from successful local practices”, stated Mr Careme, Mayor of Grande-Synthe while showcasing the initiative welcoming and providing shelter to more than 2800 migrants in a local community with around 22 000 inhabitants. Not only incoming flows but also expelled migrants from France has particularly been affecting the Municipality of Ventimiglia. Mr Enrico Ioculano, Mayor, underlined the need of a better governance in migrants’ management. Local authorities should be empowered with more competencies rather than these being spread among too many institutional actors at different level with scares cooperation. The panel also benefited of the videos interventions of Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona and Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo. “We need to change EU policies on migration by getting together and bringing in our experience and perspective. A different Europe more linked to the principles of the founding fathers has to be built”, stated the first. Mr Orlando’s intervention can be summarised by his closing remarks “Migrants contribute to make the globalisation image more human. They make us, Europeans, reflect upon how we apply human rights within our borders”.

Mr Francesco lo Piccolo, President of the Association of the European Schools of Planning, concluded the session by bringing in the perspective of how urban planning and citizenship are close interrelated, with particular reference to migrants’ integration processes. Integration cannot be exclusively promoted through the legislative mechanism, barriers to a fulfilled citizenship need to be removed substantially and urban planning does play an important role. When public spaces able to bring different parts of the community together are not existent, access to rights is denied by substantial factors and this can be the results of conscious or unconscious policies.