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

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Governance and citizenship

​Migration - 13.03.2019

Local government thrilled: MEPs open direct access to EU funds
Towns and regions applaud the European Parliament’s vote on a report establishing the future Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) for 2021-2027. As it stands, the AMIF budget will be increased to € 10 billion, which is a 50% increase.  

This vote is a victory for towns and regions as it reserves at least 5% of a part of the budget on the AMIF for local governments. Furthermore, the Parliament’s vote also means that Member States should collaborate with local governments when defining national strategies on migration and decide how to spend the resources.

Therefore, Europe’s towns, cities and regions are speaking as one voice to call on the Council and the Commission to back the Parliament’s decision.

The Secretary General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Frédéric Vallier, reacts to today’s vote:

With this vote, the Parliament shows its commitment to reinforce governance in partnership with towns and regions, as the report adopted establishes that local government associations, including CEMR, would gain the right to be consulted for the use of the € 6 billion allocated under shared management.” 

Moreover, at least € 220 million - or € 30 million per year – of the remaining € 4 billion under a complementary instrument will be allocated to local governments following the situation on the ground. This is not the case in the current AMIF,” pointed out Frédéric Vallier. 

It would be the first time in history that such an amount is earmarked for local governments in this field,” he added. This will allow them to access the financial support they require to successfully integrate migrant populations, in terms of social and educational support, healthcare or housing.

On the next steps, Mr Vallier says: “We call on the Council and the Commission to back the proposal. This would be a positive sign and would ensure that efforts made these last months will not be lost or delayed.”  

In order to be truly successful, we call for an increase up to 20% of the AMIF to be dedicated to integration, and not just 10% as it currently stands. If local governments obtain sufficient resources and support for migrant integration, it would be a gamechanger for European society”, he added.

Addressing the migration challenge in towns and regions: what the Parliament supports

Beyond generally countering local government underfunding and disempowerment, towns and regions’ specific demands that have been supported by the Parliament can be summarised in five points:
  • Recognise the role played by local governments and their representative associations and strengthen the partnership principle, especially for the part of the fund managed by member states in the design and monitoring of their work programmes.
  • Guarantee direct access to emergency assistance for local governments.
  • Earmark at least € 30 million per year for local governments under the Thematic Facility.
  • Reinforce the scope of actions (strategies, infrastructure, capacity-building etc.) to which local governments will have access to under the AMIF, such as housing, economic and social inclusion.
  • Higher co-financing rate for activities implemented by local and regional governments.
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