The conference took part Dec. 3, 2019 in Brussels. It was organized by the Committee of the Regions, which recently launched the initiative Cities and Regions for Integration, together with other Commission departments. Enhancing the dialogue with local and regional authorities is a priority for the work on integration at EU level. Cities and regions are key actors in putting in place effective integration policies on the ground. However, many local authorities, especially small ones, have difficulties in accessing the resources available at EU level both in terms of knowledge and funding – a challenge recognized and tackled also by INTEGRA.
The conference gathered over 400 representatives from local and regional authorities to inform them about the support available at EU level and give them an opportunity to exchange their practices and experience.
INTEGRA partners from Sofia, Prague, Košice and Osijek took part in the conference. In recognition of the project success, Sevdalina Voynova from SDA was invited to moderate one of the conference workshops, Narratives matter. The session focused on the public perception of migrants and refugees in Europe and its relationship with facts and the reality, the role of opinion makers as well as local politicians in influencing the attitudes of citizens towards immigrants.
The conference was organized also in cooperation with other Commission departments active in the field of integration, such as the Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Education and Culture, Regional and Urban Affairs and the Joint Research Center.