plenary 2017 webOn the second day of the 32nd Plenary meeting of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, a question was put to the CouncilofEurope CommissionerforHuman RightsNils Muižnieks, by the Regional Governor of Attica, Rena Dourou. This followed a statement by the Commissioner on developments in the human rights field, at both regional and local levels.

In her question, the Regional Governor of Attica stressed that “local and regional authorities are often required to find short-term and long-term solutions for the successful integration of refugees and migrants”, and asked how the Commissioner would address the role of local and regional authorities in relation to the reception and integration of refugees and migrants into local communities. In his response, the Commissioner stressed, inter alia, that local and regional authorities, in cooperation with governments, should work more on providing both refugees and migrants with access to basic services, and psychological support, “until the finalization of their situation”. “Often, it is more important to treat their psychological trauma first”, stressed Mr Nils Muižnieks.

“The Regions are facing a double deficit on dealing with the refugee/migration phenomenon

Earlier, at a meeting of the House of Regions, the Regional Governor of Attica had mentioned the problems faced by border regions in tackling the refugee/migration phenomenon.

“These problems are common to all regions which are the first regions facing the challenges raised by the reception and integration of migrants/refugees”, said Rena Dourou. “More specifically, we are faced with a double deficit: on one hand, we face a clear framework deficit, especially at national and European levels, since the Dublin mechanism remains active; on the other hand, we face a deficit on the issue of the Regions not having immediate accessibility to the European financing funds and programmes, which is provided solely to governments and NGOs”. In this context, the Regional Governor of Attica made a reference to the joint letter sent by the Regions of Attica, Sicily and Lazio to the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament last May on the question of the Regions’ accessing of European financial resources.

You can view it here: Rena Dourou has put a question to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

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