Cities Forum 2017

Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees

“Changing the narrative – developing new views on European migration policies”


Last May, the city of Amsterdam hosted a conference. With the participation of migrants and former refugees, this conference yielded a set of concrete ideas to go forward with. During this workshop, we will further elaborate on these exciting new ideas. The workshop appeals to the creative ideas and knowledge of all participants. Together, we develop ways to translate abstract Brussels policies into concrete local efforts, to enhance the connection between different urban communities, and to ultimately give migrants of all backgrounds a stronger voice in European policy making.

The workshop consists of two parts. In the first part, we will discuss a variety of ideas aimed at enhancing migrants’ and refugees’ voice in the European policy debate. Thereby, we focus on local initiatives enhancing the visibility of migrant communities and strengthening bonds between people from different backgrounds. The second part of the workshop is dedicated to a site visit in the city of Rotterdam, where we will discuss the previously developed ideas with representatives from migrant communities.

For more information about the Urban Agenda, please click here
For more information on the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees Partnership, please click here

Draft programme

11:00 - 11:05:Opening & Program of the Day
11:05 - 11:20:
Where are we? Welcome to the location by Huis van de Wijk
11:20 - 12:30:
Integration Policies of the City of Rotterdam & Vluchtelingenwerk
12:30 - 13:00:
Introduction to the actions of the Partnership of Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees by the City of Amsterdam
13:00 - 13:45:
13:45 - 14:00:
Objective of the workshop
14:00 - 14:15:
Introduction to the workshop by Ink Strategy
14:15 - 15:20:
Interactive session: developing project ideas for better inclusion policies in cities
15:20 - 15:40:
Pitching of ideas by participants
15:40 - 16:00:
Follow-up and closing by the City of Amsterdam


Huis van de Wijk De Nieuwe Gaffel: Gaffelstraat 63B

As a port city connecting the Netherlands with major trading partners, Rotterdam is and has long been home to migrants from around the globe. To ensure the successful integration of the city’s long-term and temporary migrant populations, Rotterdam has an international reputation of successful innovative policies and practices.
In the light of the different priority themes of the partnership, the Huis van de Wijk is located in the heart of a district where many migrants and their children live, and come together to meet each other. During the field visit Rotterdam will share its best practices in the field of integration from the perspective of the newcomers in the city.

Background information on the Partnership for the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees

Members of the Partnership

  • Cities: Amsterdam (coordinator), Athens, Berlin, Helsinki, Barcelona;
  • Member States: Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark;
  • Stakeholders: EUROCITIES, URBACT, ), Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), European Council on Refugees & Exiles (ECRE), European Investment Bank (EIB), Migration Policy Group (MPG);
  • European Commission: DG HOME (Coordinator), DG REGIO, DG EMPL.

The Partnership for the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees is one of the thematic Partnerships of the Urban Agenda for the EU and aims to improve the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees in EU cities.
To frame its work, the Partnership identified five thematic areas:
  • It is essential for the reception of migrants and refugees that communities are properly involved and informed in the processes taking place, not least to minimize the uncertainties that the local communities face;
  • Moreover, providing refugees with housing is an essential but often difficult first step towards restoring the quality of life and autonomy of migrants and refugees;
  • Fast access to the labour market is also a focus theme essential to creating autonomy;
  • Moreover, it is essential that both integration courses and regular education for children and students start as soon as possible, in order to improve the integration process;
  • Lastly, throughout these focus areas special attention must be paid to the extra vulnerable groups such as children, women and LGBT migrants and refugees.

Please click here to access the background paper