IOM, MPI Highlight European Cities Innovating Migrant Inclusion

Some cities and towns in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe have pioneered promising new models for migrant inclusion.  

Brussels, Rome – Cities and towns across Europe are facing common challenges managing increasing diversity and addressing the integration of migrants. Yet some jurisdictions in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe have pioneered promising new models for migrant inclusion, according to the study ‘European Cities on the Front Line: New and Emerging Governance Models for Migrant Inclusion’  jointly released Thursday (28 May) by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Europe.  

According to the study, promoting “eye-to-eye” partnerships with civil society and involving migrants in local decision-making processes are some of the ways that three of these cities – Thessaloniki, Gdansk and Milan – have increased the impact and sustainability of local inclusion strategies.  

The main findings of the study were presented in a webinar discussing the main challenges and best practices that have been applied locally to ensure that migrants can better access public services, which is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The IOM-MPI study analyses the possibilities to improve the governance of migrant and refugee integration. It also provides recommendations on how to make the most of local governance to boost integration results in the face of constraints such as resource gaps, shifting needs and volatile public opinion.    

The impact of COVID-19 has made migrant inclusion even more challenging as vulnerabilities have intensified and key services have come to a near-halt, while stigmatization of migrants is on the rise.  

“It is crucial that no one is excluded, especially in such critical times. The safety of our community as a whole depends, now more than ever, on the effective inclusion of the most vulnerable,” said Laurence Hart, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean at the study launch. 

Despite these challenges, IOM and MPI emphasized many cities have reacted well by reshaping their services and actively engaging their citizens in a common effort to address the needs of the most vulnerable.  

“We applaud and support local authorities and municipalities’ efforts and strategies to promote more inclusive and diverse societies,” said Hart.   

The webinar and the study were carried out under the framework of the “ADMin4ALL” project which is implemented by IOM and funded by the European Union. The project aims to enhance the capacity of local governments to develop sustainable strategies and inclusive services for the successful social and economic integration of migrants. 

The recording of the webinar is available here.   

To download the IOM-MPI study, click here

For more information, please contact Melissa Julian at IOM’s Regional Office for the EU, Norway, Switzerland and the UK, Tel: +32 473 28 11 65, Email: or Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Rome, Tel +39 347 089 89 96: , Email: 

For more information on the ADMin4ALL project, please contact IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Rossella Celmi, Email: