“Strategic approach for migration in the EU: Sharing experiences of European cities and Regions”


Local event proposal “Strategic approach for migration in the EU: Sharing experiences of European cities and Regions”

Catania, October/November 2016 (date tbc)

Local event organised by the City of Catania in cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions, European Commission, ANCI – national association of Italian cities and municipalities


(1) Introduction

The migration debate which had been opened in the CoR is evolving. Local and Regional Authorities are faced on one hand with integration becoming part of their daily not anymore newsworthy tasks and thus decreasing support among the population. On the other hand, the geopolitical situation and especially Turkey’s role is changing continuously. The internal debate within the EU has become more interlinked with the external geopolitical developments and several of the ARLEM member countries have important roles in receiving refugees (Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon).

The CoR is currently working on different opinions related to the European Agenda on Migration:  the Action plan on Integration; the Legal Migration and the Asylum Packages  which will be adopted in  December plenary (7/8 December 2016).  In particular, the last opinion on the Asylum Packages follows the Commission’s decision to propose the revision of the Dublin III Regulation, after several requests from the European Parliament.

(2) Description

On this context, Enzo Bianco, the CoR rapporteur on the Reform of Common European Asylum  System, Mayor of Catania and President of the National Council of ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities) is initiating a local event to be held in Catania (October/December 2016- dates tbc), aimed to bring together representatives of local and regional authorities (LARs)  from the Mediterranean areas, members of ARLEM, the  National  associations of cities and municipalities, the main European platforms (CEMR, Eurocities) with the  European Institutions (EC, EP, CoR) to:

  • share experiences of European cities on Hot spots and their role in the integration policies, including how integration measures are designed and financed.
  • showcase the best practice examples in the municipalities and cities  to discuss the challenges for LARs today in short, medium and long term
  • debate on the new Commission’s legislative proposals to revise the Dublin III Regulation; the Action plan on Integration and Legal Migration

The event is a follow up of the recent visit of the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, on 27 April 2016 in Sicily, on the occasion of  the  opening ceremony of  EURTF- the European Union Regional Task Force (EURTF) office in  Catania. The Commissioner Avramopoulos  has already expressed  to the Mayor of Catania  the support  of the European Commission  for such  initiative to be jointly organised by the  city of Catania, the European Commission, the CoR and ANCI.

This proposal is also part of a sequence of CoR events to accompany on one hand the current and upcoming CoR opinions and on the other hand to link all activities (ARLEM, Enlargement and potential study visits and communication efforts of the CoR as a whole) to provide for a medium term and coherent approach.

The final outcome should be an own-initiative opinion as a final product taking stock of the LRA’s role in the areas of migration, integration, neighbourhood policy and enlargement and giving a strategic and forward looking view for the CoR work in these areas. Alternatively a possibility of having a declaration or resolution could be considered.

(3) Format


  • One day Conference (9.00- 5.00 pm)


Open debate between participants. The debate will be structured around short interventions of panelists + questions and open interaction with the audience. (Bottom up approach). Moderator: professional journalist

(4) Target audience (about 150 people)

  • Representatives of local and regional authorities’ associations
  • Representatives of cities and Regions (Hot spots) and civil society organisations


  • ARLEM members
  • Representatives of CEMR, Eurocities


(5) Main Speakers

  • CoR rapporteurs (CIVEX)
  • Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs  and Citizenship
  • Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
  • Presidents of CMER, Eurocities
  • Mayors/ Presidents of Regions – hot spots areas
  • ARLEM members

(6) Dates( tbc)


Friday 9 December/Saturday 10 December

(7) Tasks

Ciy of Catania: venue, management of participants, catering, communication support via local press and magazines.

CoR: interpretation cost (IT-EN-FR), moderator and 1 speaker costs, CoR members reimbursement (CIVEX, ARLEM members), press, communication (social media) and audio-visual support, decoration (roll ups) and publications, support for the coordination of the event.

(7) Other CoR ongoing initiatives


  • Forum on Integration (December 2016)


In December Plenary, the opinions on the Action plan on Integration and on Legal Migration and Asylum Packages will be adopted. An event is planned in the margins of the plenary session to showcase the best practice examples in the municipalities, to discuss the challenges in short, medium and long term.


Representatives of local and regional authorities’ and civil society organisations


There are different practices in Member states how LRA’s are involved, how integration measures are designed and financed. The event would allow to showcase the best practices and to discuss challenges and ways ahead.

  • Conference together with upcoming Maltese Presidency 22-23 February 2017 (in the framework of ARLEM Plenary session in Malta)



CoR Bureau members, the ARLEM members, representatives of Maltese local and regional authorities’ associations and representatives of civil society organisations


A few months after the proposals by the European Commission on the review of the Dublin system and of the Directives in relation to legal migration, this conference – proposed by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU – will offer an excellent opportunity to discuss the state of play and the role of the LRA in these processes. Indeed, the LRA, especially in the countries that are most affected by the migration flows such as Malta, will have to play a key role in the implementation of the revised rules. The CoR opinions on these topics that will have been adopted by that point can feed into the discussions.
Study visits (tbc) to a limited number of 3-4 cities (Turkey, Italian Hot Spots and Southern Mediterranean cities) after consultation of the various national delegations at the ARLEM commission meeting in November through the combination of activities of the Working Group Turkey, CoR study visits and ARLEM activities during the coming months; these study visits should follow a specific concept on integration aspects where a North-South exchange could be concretely beneficial; the concept could be developed in form of a practical study through the CIVEX framework contract in cooperation with partners (tbc


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