Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Cohesion policy

Territorial development - 27.11.2015

An urban agenda: a key tool to address the refugee crisis
An urban agenda is an opportunity to strengthen towns and regions’ participation in the EU decision making process, including the management of the refugee crisis. This was a message addressed at an informal meeting of Ministers responsible for territorial cohesion and urban policy  organised by the Luxembourg presidency of the EU, from 26 to 27 November.

CEMR spokesperson for territorial development, Carola Gunnarsson, took part in this meeting alongside European ministers in charge of regional and urban development. It explored hot topics for towns and regions, including the progress made in territorial cohesion or the refugee crisis as a top priority to be addressed by an EU urban agenda. 

On this occasion, Carola Gunnarsson, said: “Since the start of this crisis, cities and regions have been at the frontline by providing immediate emergency assistance to those who are in need. Without their involvement, there can be no practical implementation of the agreements concluded at EU and national levels. However, the major work of integration still lies ahead and integration is not conceivable without towns and regions”.

EU Commissioner for Regional development, Corina Cretu, strongly encourages the use of EU funds: “As about refugee crisis, I constantly encourage Member States to exploit the full potential of our Funds - the European Regional Development Funds, the European Social Funds and also the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund - , in tackling the consequences of the refugee crisis. As none of them alone can cope with the consequences of this crisis, the European Union is ready to play its role. We are ready to further explore the possibilities of flexible use of ERDF addressing the challenges you may face.” 


Marine Gaudron
Advisor - Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion, Local Finances

Email :
Tel : +32 2 213 86 93
Skype : marine.gaudron
Background information

The Informal Ministerial Meeting is the traditional format of political discussions organised by the EU presidencies with high-level representatives of the EU institutions and key partners (European Parliament, Committee of the Regions, European Investment Bank, and CEMR, etc.).
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