The SAIER and ‘Barcelona, Refuge City’, leading projects in Europe
The Care Service for Immigrants, Emigrants and Refugees (SAIER), the ‘Barcelona, Refuge City’ plan, the Barcelona Municipal Immigration Council (CMIB), the BCN Interculturality Programme, the Anti-Discrimination Office and the Barcelona Consortium for Linguistic Normalisation are some of the city initiatives being included in the European programme ‘The need for a territorial approach to migrant integration: the role of local authorities’.
The programme by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) identifies and highlights new support policies for immigrants which are developed at a local level. Along with Barcelona, the cities of Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Paris, Rome and Vienna will also be taking part.
One of the objectives of the programme is to create a platform for the exchange of experiences and to share them with civil organisations and other city networks. A delegation made up of the OECD representative Claire Charbit, the analyst Anna Piccini, and the representative from Athens City Council Antigone Kotanidis, have been in Barcelona to get a first-hand look at the initiatives being developed.
After a meeting with the Deputy Mayor for Citizen Rights, Participation and Transparency, Jaume Asens, the delegation was able to learn about the policies for reception, guaranteeing human rights and multicultural inclusion in Barcelona with visits to the SAIER, the Department for Citizen Rights and Diversity Services and the Barcelona Consortium for Linguistic Normalisation.
One of the identifying aspects of Barcelona’s immigration and citizen rights policies is the close collaboration with the city’s network of associations. During their visit, the OECD delegation was able to speak to entities on the Barcelona Municipal Immigration Council and the BCN Anti-Rumours Network. They also visited the neighbourhood of Ciutat Meridiana, where action is in place with the participation of local residents and aimed at strengthening intercultural relations in the area.
Based on this visit, the OECD will also be evaluating coordination between the city and other regional, state and European administrations in relation to immigrant and refugee inclusion policies.