The project ReSOMA continues its aim to ensure European policymakers and stakeholders’ access to accurate and reliable evidence for policies. A new report on cities as service providers for migrants and refugees highlights cities’ central role in immigrant integration and analyses the impact of EU policies at local level.
Cities are where integration measures and public services are provided to a vast majority of migrants and refugees in the EU. Housing, early childhood education, care for the elderly, policies to combat poverty or social exclusion and local economic development are public services that play a key role in integration trajectories and for which many cities have direct responsibilities. In addition, municipalities are the level of government closest to the citizens: they can adapt their own services to the needs of immigrants, coordinate among local branches of services overseen by higher levels of government to better align access (typically education, vocational training, employment and health), and develop their own language learning and orientation activities.
Whether services are adequate, respond to needs and are available across all relevant areas is a key determinant for long-term integration. However, the ability of local authorities to deliver services depends on their national contexts, such as cities’ legal competencies in different policy fields, the strength of the welfare state, the efficiency of coordination with the national or regional levels of government, and cities’ financial capacities.
You can find the full report here.