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

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Governance and citizenship

Refugee crisis - 18.12.2015

CEMR’s reaction to EU Summit
Towns and regions have provided refugees with shelters, food, health services and social assistance, often without support and proper coordination with the national authorities. They have assumed a disproportionate responsibility for delivering emergency assistance, in coordination with volunteer groups and NGOs,” says CEMR secretary general, Frédéric Vallier.

CEMR and its members regret that this major contribution is not sufficiently recognised by Member States and that in the framework of the existing EU funding mechanisms, no specific resources have yet been set aside to properly address these challenges at the local and regional level. We call upon the European institutions to establish the necessary measures to ensure that existing funding mechanisms reach those who are most in need.” 

Ahead of the revision process of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework in 2016, we call for a more balanced distribution of the part of the EU budget dedicated to asylum, migration and integration, and more concretely, that more resources are allocated to integration measures at local and regional level.

EU border protection proposals

Commenting on the Commission’s new proposal for a Common European and Coast Guard, Frédéric Vallier goes on to say: “Considering that the hotspots in the border countries of the European Union are responsible for registering arriving refugees, we urge the European and national institutions to speed-up their functioning and the relocation of refugees.”

In a recently adopted resolution on the refugee crisis, CEMR highlights: “The exodus of thousands of persons seeking asylum and protection in Europe cannot solely be considered as an emergency situation. It needs to be addressed as a problem requiring structural and effective measures that take human rights into consideration. We need policies that respond to challenges faced by countries of origin so as to achieve peace, stability and sustainable development in a long term perspective.” 
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