Athens Mayor Presents ‘Solidarity Cities’ in Response to Refugee Crisis
Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis presented the municipality’s “Solidarity Cities” initiative during the Eurocities Social Affairs Forum held in Athens on Monday.
Kaminis invited over 150 representatives from 50 European cities to join his initiative, which is aimed at offering municipal authorities the tools to strengthen their response to the refugee situation affecting their cities today.
“In the aftermath of a crisis which has created tension and undermined Europe’s fundamental values, our cities have proven that they can offer solutions to the multiple implications of the refugee challenge and be the front runners in promoting coexistence and mutual respect,” Mayor Kaminis said.
“Solidarity Cities, initiated by the City of Athens, is our response to this crisis and our joint call for the need to have a recognized, stronger role in migration and refugee issues.”
City leaders discussed ways to receive and facilitate the integration of refugees and migrants into local societies through Solidarity Cities – set to serve as a platform for local authorities to exchange knowhow and expertise. Besides focusing on the humanitarian response to the refugee crisis, the initiative calls for a fair sharing of responsibilities among EU member states.
Solidarity Cities is open to all European city administrations wishing to work together with European counterparts towards this goal.