Launch of the Mediterranean City to City Migration project: Technical workshop on methodology and information-sharing

The different groups taking part in the “Mediterranean City to City Migration” (MC2CM) project met on 9 and 10 March to take part in a technical workshop on methodology and information-sharing organised by the city and metropolitan area of Lyon. Amman, Beirut, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Tangier and Turin were all represented.

The theme of this workshop was “Dialogue” – the starting point of the project’s three parts (Dialogue, Knowledge and Action). The meeting brought together key technical people representing the partner cities, as well as members of partner organisations (UCLG, ICMPD and UN-Habitat) to share and discuss aspects of project management as well as concrete actions planned for implementation.

This meeting allowed the cities’ to establish shared priorities with regard to the settlement and integration of migrants: receiving refugees; access to employment and entrepreneurship; intercultural dialogue and social cohesion; urban planning; access to basic services; institutional coordination or even receiving migrant unaccompanied minors.

The workshop also allowed the research methodology on migration profiles to be presented in detail and for the cities to approve the methodology for peer-to-peer learning and the coordination of pilot projects (with the participation and contributions of local stakeholders and the drafting of an agreed priority document).

The programme also included a visit to the Guillotière neighbourhood, a place where flows of migrants historically converged and a social hub for numerous migrant communities, even non-residents. The visit offered the chance to meet associations who coordinate various actions for migrant populations: school support for young people who do not speak the language, French courses, the services of a letter-writer, support with care, help with access to social welfare rights, etc. These meetings allowed for dialogue between the cities’ representatives about the practices and responses put in place in the various territories. The exchanges were a preview of the learning methodology that will be applied during the project allowing for deeper shared discussion, dialogue and mutual support between cities.

In addition, as part of the framework of the introductory mission arranged prior to the technical workshop, UCLG and ICMPD met institutional and community representatives in Lyon actively working on the inclusion of migrants. These organisations are expected to take part in the group of local stakeholders set up to assist with the migration profile and the document on the city’s priorities.

This first meeting between the cities involved in the project was an opportunity for coordination between project partners and donors (European Commission and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). UCLG took the opportunity to highlight the significant work being carried out in receiving and integrating migrants in cities, despite difficulties with resources (human and financial) and the lack of coordination at institutional level.

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