Cities play a crucial role in welcoming refugees, providing both facilities to meet their immediate needs, and opportunities for their long-term social and economic integration.

Cities are at the frontline of refugee integration response as refugees move mostly to urban centres in the hope of finding a sense of community, safety and economic independence. Cities often have to react in a matter of days and find pragmatic solutions that alleviate the plight of distressed people without fuelling resentment within the local population. But they also need to invest in refugees’ long-term inclusion by dealing with public opinion, managing potential conflicts, combatting discrimination and ensuring that refugees have the possibility to realise their aspirations and make a meaningful contribution to the local community. 

The refugee inclusion approach advocated by Intercultural cities is based on the “diversity advantage” concept - that any person, wherever he/she comes from and whatever background he/she has, has something to offer to the society he/she chooses to live in. Intercultural cities is offering innovative policy practice, guidelines and tools for supporting cities in designing responses for an inclusive, sustainable approach to refugee arrival.

Story map about ICC and Refugees

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Refugee integration policies Refugee integration policies

The Intercultural Cities team celebrates the World Refugee Day

20 June 2017

The Intercultural Cities team joins its members in celebrating 20th June as the World Refugee Day, to encourage governments and member states to work together for improving the protection of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers that reach Europe after feeling under threat in their own...

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A team of former FC Barcelona Players to hold a solidarity journey with refugees in Greece

18 November 2016 Ioannina, Greece

A team of former FC Barcelona players, legends and veterans, will arrive at the Intercultural City of Ioannina, Greece, on November 18 to hold football workshops for some 150 boys, girls and adults who currently live in refugee sites. In statements to the press, players will share their...

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Bergen - Study visit on refugee inclusion

9-10 June 2016 Bergen, Norway

On 9-10 June the city of Bergen hosted a study visit to showcase its succesful policy instruments put in place to welcome and include refugees and migrants. Participants were Intercultural cities representatives from around 20 European cities willing to deepen their knowledge on refugee’s inclusion.

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Reggio Emilia - Intercultural approach to dealing with welcoming newcomers

Reggio Emilia, Italy

Reggio Emilia has invested in a comprehensive service to try and deal with the local impact of the refugee crisis, based on the national programme SPRAR (Sistema di protezione per richiedenti asilo e rifugiati) is the system to protect refugees and asylum seekers. The city is applying an...

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Lyon's cultural institutions mobilising for refugees

Lyon, France

While political coordination is essential to best manage the welcoming of refugees, cultural institutions in Lyon, France, are doing their bit by encouraging public debate on migration. Several organisations have planned debates and activities, throughout this year, on the theme of migration and...

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Refugees – creating conditions for diversity advantage

29-30 October 2015 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

The Council of Europe/Intercultural cities and the canton of Neuchâtel, COSM, organised a seminar to discuss what receiving countries can do concretely to facilitate the social and economic integration of refugees. From the point of view of successful integration, the first days and weeks after...

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Refugee integration policies

Berlin Neukölln - Refugees welcome – Refugee integration policies in Berlin Neukölln

The new report "Refugees welcome – Refugee integration policies in Berlin Neukölln" analyses policies of Berlin’s district Neukölln to create a welcoming environment for refugees in the policy areas of education, housing, language and communication, employment, as well as culture and leisure. The...

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Video video

"Intercultural Cities are searching for solutions". Listen to Claudia Luciani, Director of Democratic Governance in the Council of Europe, talking on refugee inclusion.

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