Cities never stop implementing policies for the broader integration of migrant communities, even while responding to immediate challenges and crises. This is one of the main take-aways of the 2022 Integrating Cities Report, published during the tenth Integrating Cities Conference in Utrecht on 16-17 November 2022.
Every two years, Eurocities produces a monitoring report assessing the progress signatory cities have made in implementing the Integrating Cities Charter. The fifth edition is structured along three main chapters:
1) the methodology of the Integrating Cities Charter;
2) the current (political) context that shapes cities’ integration policies, with a particular focus on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic; and
3) integration actions implemented by cities in their capacities as Policy makers, Service providers, Employers and Buyers of goods and services
Within each of these main fields of responsibility, key trends are identified and analysed across the participating cities. Among others, these include how cities ensure equal access and non-discrimination in policies and access to services, and how they strive to make their own administrations more diverse and inclusive. The progress made by cities in this respect clearly highlights their role as political frontrunners that shape integration and inclusion policies and practices in Europe.
For instance, more and more cities report having developed a strategic vision of their identity, making the promotion of inclusion, the fight against hate speech and discrimination the backbone of all work done in the city administrations.
In recent years, cities also further increased their cooperation with migrant-led organisations and moved towards a more inclusive form of decision-making by relying on the unique knowledge of migrants to shape their policies. This important topic of co-design with migrants themselves is further explored in Eurocities’ current project UNITES.