The Regional Governor of Attica, Rena Dourou, participated in the meeting of the Current Affairs Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe earlier today. The Committee’s proceedings are conducted in preparation for the Plenary Session of the Congress at the end of March in Strasbourg. In her intervention on the “Report on the role of local and regional authorities in the reception of refugees and the integration of migrants”, the Regional Governor of Attica stressed, inter alia, the need for a coherent, common European migration and asylum policy. Rena Dourou emphasised that the refugee/migrant phenomenon is one of the events that define the 21th century.
“Today we face a multi-faceted challenge: that of effective, fair sharing of responsibility, towards a European policy on the refugee/migrant crisis. This policy should be based on the needs of local communities as well as of refugees/migrants. These needs relate to ensuring social cohesion, security, human rights and the rule of law”.
The Regional Governor of Attica said: “The Report before us can be considered as a useful tool, the first step in a complex and lengthy process for addressing the refugee/migrant crisis, a long-standing phenomenon which marks the evolution of European societies”.
“The Logistics Centre of Attica highlights the great potential of local and regional authorities to address the challenge of the refugee/migration issue. It highlights the role of Local Government in strengthening Democracy at a local level,promoting citizen participation and contributing to the awareness of the importance of this issue for the future of European societies”,mentioned the Regional Governor of Attica.
Finally,on the occasion of the new law passed by the Hungarian government on the automatic detention of asylum seekers, she stressed the need to strengthen local authorities by providing them direct access to financial instruments and EU programmes in connection with the refugee/migration issue. The Regional Governor of Attica stated that this arises from the fact that local authorities,which are at the forefront of addressing this issue,possess,as it has been underlined by many representatives from various Regions and Municipalities of Europe, moreappropriate instruments and more effective reflexes than central governments in order to tackle efficiently the complex issues raised by the refugee/migration phenomenon.“In this way, we will build a common European response to the issues of receiving and integrating refugees/migrants in local communities”,stated the Regional Governor in her closing remark.