“The Welcoming City” Migration, Bordering and Contestation in European Cities

Is there a urban way of understanding asylum and migration? What is the interplay between national and local policies?

7 octubre 2019 - 12:00h
LOCALIZACIÓN: CIDOB, sala Jordi Maragall, Elisabets 12, 08001 Barcelona
ORGANIZADO POR: Loughborough University and CIDOB with the support of the Urban Studies Foundation and the Barcelona City Council




In a context of increasingly restrictive migration policies and with the rise of extreme right and anti-immigrant discourses, European cities have become sites of contestation over who can settle, how, when and for how long. This includes cities implementing specific policies to include those excluded by the state but also cities confronting their national governments in the political, and often international, arena. 

Sponsored by the Urban Studies Foundation, this seminar aims to explore the role of sanctuary cities as sites for the inclusion of migrants, including as well specific localised practices of belonging and the interplay and contradictions between national and municipal agendas and the spaces that are carved out despite or because of these.


“The Welcoming City” Migration, Bordering and Contestation in European Cities ACTIVIDAD REALIZADA

12:00h Welcome

Pol Morillas, Director, CIDOB
Anna Papoutsi and Antonis Vradis, Loughbourough University
Blanca Garcés, Research Coordinator, CIDOB

12:15h Sanctuary cities and practices

Is there a urban way of understanding asylum and migration? What is a sancturary or welcoming city? What is the interplay between national and local policies? Beyond discursive and practical constestation by municipal authorities, can we identify sanctuary practices and spaces within the city? What is the local governance of first reception and integration?

Moderators: Antonis Vradis & Anna Papoutsi, Loughbourough University

Refugee urbanism: seeing asylum «like a city»
Jonathan Darling, Durham University

The spatiality of the camp in relation to the city: exploring the concept of Sanctuary
Filyra Vlastou, Paris Sorbonne

From «First Reception» to integration: Governance of the migrant mobility and transformations of the statecraft in Greece during the last decade
Regina Mantanika, European University Institute

13:45h Lunch

15:00h Legal discretion and municipal ID cards

Key measures of sanctuary cities are the non-implementation of national laws and policies and different forms of local level documentation. Does domestic law offer discretionary spaces? What are the main strategies of divergence vis-à-vis national law? Following the example of US cities, what is the use of municipal ID cards by European cities? How have the so-called “neighbourhood documents” in Barcelona and Madrid been implemented? What are the lessons to be learned?

Moderator: Eva Garcia-Chueca, Scientific Coordinator, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

Strategies of Divergence: Local Authorities, Law and Discretionary Spaces in Migration Governance
Moritz Baumgärtel, Utrecht University

«Municipal cards» in European cities: local inclusion of irregular migrants
Julia Koopmans, University of Barcelona

Neighbourhood Documents in Barcelona and Madrid: balance of two tailored local inclusion measures for migrants in Southern Europe
Markus González Beilfuss, University of Barcelona

16:30h Open discussion on Barcelona as a “Welcoming City” (in Spanish)

In this open discussion we will debate the case of Barcelona as a “Welcoming City”. Barcelona is long known for its measures incorporating immigrants in an irregular situation and since 2015 it has proclaimed itself as a “city of refuge”, not only developing programmes to accommodate asylum seekers outside the state reception system but also confronting the Spanish government and EU Member States in their response to migrants’ arrivals. The discussion will be articulated around two main axes: 1) measures and practices developed within the city to include those excluded by the State; and 2) Barcelona’s political strategy at the national, EU and international level to shape migration control policies and discourses. Key local policymakers and stakeholders will participate in the discussion.

Moderator: Blanca Garcés, Research Coordinator, CIDOB 

18:00h Conclusions