“Local and Regional Authorities could be key factors in the required European common shared burden of long-term migration policy”. This was the message that Ms Rena Dourou, Governor of Attica Region, conveyed to President Juncker at their meeting on Tuesday, 12th of April.
Governor Dourou informed the President about the actions undertaken by Attica Region concerning the handling of the refugee / migrant crisis and she asked President Juncker to untap regions’ full potential to contribute to the implementation of decisions and agreements taken at EU
level. She also stressed the importance of the Regions, especially those in the Mediterranean, in contributing to the required long term policy, thanks to their grassroots knowledge and their readiness to deliver the needed assistance.
Ms Marianou, Secretary General of the CPMR, who accompanied Governor Dourou during the meeting, highlighted that regional governments are committed to providing specific solutions to the on-going drama affecting both refugees and Europe’s territories. In this respect she recalled the Memorandum of Understanding signed recently between the regional authorities of Valencia in Spain and South Aegean in Greece for the relocation of 1 100 refugees from the Aegean islands to Valencia, assuming the responsibility for their healthcare and education.
Regions can facilitate the effective use of EU funds dedicated to the management of the migration crisis, such as AMIF and the new Emergency Assistance instrument, and can coordinate effectively the activities on the ground within their territories working hand in hand with NGOs to organise and deliver the solutions needed.