Refuge cities from the Spanish state demand resources to dignify the reception process
07/11/2018 - 20:31
City Council. Thirteen cities met in Madrid and shared successful experiences in handling asylum at a municipal level.
Four thousand seven hundred migrants and asylum seekers have reached Barcelona since June, arriving via the Andalusian coast. In a meeting between most of the country’s refuge cities, held at the Spanish parliament, the cities confirmed their willingness to carry on receiving people but called on the Spanish government to make the 330 million euros of EU funds allocated for reception purposes available.
Despite the changes made by the Spanish government with respect to migrants arriving on the coast, the cities in question again called for the reinstatement of the Immigration Reception and Integration Fund suspended by the PP, as reception work is currently paid for with municipal resources.
As well as the injection of EU funds, the country’s refuge cities agreed on a document outlining all their specific demands to be able to improve and dignify the reception process for migrants and refugees:
- Extension and strengthening of reception protocols at arrival points.
- Creation of a communication protocol between the Secretary of State for Migration and the refuge cities to know in advance about migration flows.
- Contemplation of multi-level management in reception policies, thus generating a space for coordination between the central government, autonomous communities and municipal governments.
- Strengthening of resources for asylum and foreigner affairs offices to do away with waiting lists and create greater availability to attend to users properly.
- Flexible access to residency and work permits for people in irregular situations who have put down firm roots, as well as asylum seekers whose applications have been turned down.
Success, experiences and shared resources
This is the fourth meeting organised between refuge cities and the state. On this occasion participants represented the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Granada, Valladolid, Girona, Sant Sebastián, La Coruña, Cádiz, Terrassa, Palma and Sant Boi de Llobregat. The cities shared resources and successful experiences at a municipal level and agreed to carry on coordinating and working together and to take part in the various meetings in the next few weeks, whether with the Secretary of State for Migration or the Ministry of the Interior.
Barcelona outlined the results of its Nausica programme, which offers integrated support for people in need of refuge who have been excluded or who have used up support entitlement offered by the state-run programme, responding to the shortcomings and inflexibility of state policies and European governments in this area. After two years in operation, 43% for people on the Nausica programme have gained labour contracts and increased their economic and social autonomy.