26-27 September

CEMR Retreat

Same as every year, CEMR cohort will meet in September to discuss the most pressing topics for the local and regional governments and set the way forward. After two years of online meetings, we are aiming for an in-person meeting (with some hybrid workshops).

This year's CEMR Retreat will be held in Brussels on Monday 26 and Tuesday, September 27. Agenda. 

In the framework of different sessions in parallel, we are organising a workshop on 27/9 from 9:30 – 10:45:

Challenges on local inclusion: evidence on the political and financial impact of the recent flow of refugees into Europe

This session will shed light on how the Ukrainian refugee crisis has affected cities and regions at the front line and how local and regional governments are managing the current challenges.

According to the United Nations, at least 12 million people have fled their homes since the war in Ukraine began—over 5 million have gone to other countries. Poland has taken the highest number of refugees, and Moldova has received the largest concentration of refugees by population. But there are other countries that welcomed a significant number of refugees as well.

In light of these new arrivals, local and regional governments in border countries and across Europe are playing a crucial role in the management of this new European challenge. Not only in terms of emergency management but also with the establishment of better coordination mechanisms and more sustainable long-term integration strategies.

Cities are preparing for a medium- to long-term stay of the refugees, and they prioritise helping them find safe, affordable and suitable housing, access to basic services, health, education, and the job market. However, with months of the war and no rapid conclusion in sight, the resources and strengths of European cities are fading. Despite EU support, local governments are often still using their own financial resources to manage the reception of newcomers.

This session will give an informative overview of the impact of the war and refugee crisis on European cities and shed light on some examples from the ground. We’ll talk to experts, local government representatives and our members with the aim of getting a better overview and discussing potential solutions.