Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Leen VERBEERK, participated in the conference "International Migrants Day: Promoting Diversity in the Regions" organised by the Assembly of European Regions (AER), on 18 December 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. On this occasion, he presented the essential elements for the successful reception and integration of migrants.
"Local and regional authorities play a crucial role in a successful integration of migrants", said Leen VERBEEK "They should be facilitated in terms of budgets and staff to adequately fulfill their responsibilities". In particular, he highlighted their role in helping newcomers to learn the language of the host country, integrate into the labour market and find housing.
He also called for a positive view of migration and its effects. Not only can it contribute to Europe's demographic growth, but diversity also enriches our cultures and energises our societies. "Migrants contribute economically, socially and culturally to society. " he added. " Ultimately, we want harmonious democratic societies in which each and every one counts and can fully participate" he concluded.