MedCities recently hosted the webinar “Exchange of good practices among cities on the participation of migrants in local affairs and planning processes” aimed at fostering knowledge and experience transfer among Mediterranean cities’ representatives. The webinar was held on May 5th, in the frame of the project “Leave No One behind: towards active participation of migrants in the City Strategy of Tunis”. The project is implemented by MedCities in partnership with the Municipality of Tunis and is part of the ICMPD programMediterranean City-to-City Migration MC2CM” financed by the EU and the Swiss Development Cooperation fund. More than 30 participants attended the webinar: representatives from the Tunisian municipalities of Bizerte, Sfax, Sousse and Tunis, as well as representatives of Greater Irbid, Oujda, Barcelona, Terrassa, Málaga.

Cities are often at the forefront of regular and forced migration management but can often lack the tools and competences to take action on this issue at the local level. During the webinar, several cities and organisations shared their experience on mainstreaming migration perspective in their local policies and strategic plans.

President of Cités Unies Liban, Mr. Bechir Odeimi, presented the initiative “Strenthening lebanese local governments on local migration governance” which supported 18 Lebanese cities in establishing their roadmap for migration governance and was financed by the MC2CM program too. Secondly, Ms. Rachida Saadi, Head of International Relations at the Municipality of Oujda, explained that migration holds strategic importance in its municipal action plan, and migrant participation was guaranteed through several stages of multi-actor consultations and a participative diagnosis, resulting in the formulation of several projects to enhance municipal services for migrants’ needs within the municipal action plan. Lastly, Ms. Maria Carmen Garcia Peña, Director of the CIEDES Foundation within the Municipality of Málaga, presented the city’s experience in integrating diagnosis of neighborhood vulnerabilities in the Malaga Strategic Plan as well as citizen participation forums promoted by the municipality. As a result of this diagnosis, several strategic projects fostering integration, conviviality, and intercultural encounters are being implemented in the city.

The webinar was also an occasion to present in more detail the program “Mediterranean City-to-City Migration MC2CM” led by ICMPD as well as the project “Leave No One behind: towards active participation of migrants in the City Strategy of Tunis”. This project aims to ensure inclusivity in the elaboration process of the Tunis City Development Strategy, in the framework of the A’SIMA Tunis project. Project partners are currently launching the citizen participation phase in order to present the Strategy and collect inputs from Tunis civil society organizations and citizens, including migrants and vulnerable groups. The initiative in Tunis is one of the first experiences across Mediterranean cities to actively involve migrant communities in local planning processes and development plans.

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