During past two years, migration and integration have been high on the agenda at European level. In relation to the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, the European Commission (EC) published its new Action Plan on the Integration and Inclusion for 2021-2024. The key role played by regional and local authorities in migrant and refugee integration is highlighted in this plan and is an important step in recognising their needs and contributions.
This recent acknowledgment of the crucial role regions have in migrant integration and inclusion may explain why, before 2020, most projects and initiatives related to these matters only looked at the national and/or local levels, often occulting the multi-level governance challenges and opportunities that are widely spread in this field.
Aware of this particular issue thanks to the work led by its Migration Task Force since 2015, the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) has advocated for several years for supporting regional authorities with improving their policy and outcome performance on the ground, for the benefit of both newcomers and host communities, taking into account the wide variety of territories and the variation of regional competences throughout Europe.
As project leader, the CPMR gathered a consortium of 6 of its member regions – Azores (PT), Campania (IT), Catalonia (ES), Murcia (ES), Puglia (IT) and Skåne (SE) and 3 technical partners – the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), Instrategies and the Migration Policy Group (MPG) to develop, test, implement and evaluate tools and pilot actions to strengthen the capacities of regional authorities to promote the reception, integration, participation and inclusion of migrants and refugees.