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

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Governance and citizenship

Refugee crisis - 09.03.2016

Frédéric Vallier: “Local elected representatives are not supported by central states”
In an interview with the French media Contexte, CEMR secretary general, Frédéric Vallier, talks about the abandonment of towns and regions by central governments when addressing the refugee crisis.

The refugee crisis has put pressure on many Europeans cities. Have you noticed a movement against accepting them?

No. Locally elected officials carry a different message than national elected officials.  They say “we would like to, but we don’t know how”. They are very pragmatic and are simply asking for resources. They need to deal with the situation in a context of emergency, and they do not have the necessary funds to arrange accommodation, recruit teachers, social workers and interpreters to ensure the hosting and integration of refugees.

They need to be careful they do not disturb the social balance and make sure all inhabitants benefit from the long term policies, to avoid any misunderstanding. However, the alarming narratives of national political leaders make things difficult.

The full interview is available in French on Contexte website.
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