Ada Colau defends the role of cities in the refugee crisis

Colau and the First Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, are currently taking part in a meeting for European cities being held in Copenhagen (Denmark), the Eurocities Annual Conference.

The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, spoke before the cities which make up the Eurocities group to assert that local administrations must be represented at international summits to address the refugee crisis as “it’s the cities who are offering to take them in and so our voice needs to be heard”. Colau also stated that Europe’s cities must take the lead in the crisis as states have been incapable of coming up with a humanitarian response.

Colau took part in the debate on the refugee crisis at the convention centre in the Swedish city of Malmo as part of the meeting between European cities in Copenhagen, where the annual conference will be held tomorrow. During the meeting, representatives from German cities also outlined the need to redistribute refugees to avoid the current collapse.

Similarly, the mayor called on states “to guarantee a secure route to prevent the deaths of thousands of children, women and men which is still going on today in our sea”. She added: “Urgent help is needed in the form of funding from European institutions such as the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, which would mean we can receive refuges in a dignified fashion”.

A total of 135 cities united

Eurocities brings together 135 European cities with populations over 250,000, from over 30 countries, representing a quarter of the population of the European Union. During the course of the meeting, the mayor will attend various work groups and will also meet the Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, at Copenhagen City Council.