Paris, 27 March 2013 – Poverty-induced immigration within the EU and notably from Romania and Bulgaria, two countries whose citizens will be able to live and work freely in EU countries from the 1st January 2014, was the focus of discussions at the last Efus Executive Committee meeting, which took place on 25 and 26 March in Mannheim (Germany).
Christian Specht, First Deputy Mayor of Mannheim
The debate was proposed by the city of Mannheim, a member of the Executive Committee. German cities are highly concerned about the influx of immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria, which is expected to happen when they are given the same rights as other citizens of the European Union, due to the terms of the Treaty of Accession to the EU. (Since they joined the EU in 2007, restrictions were imposed on their right to reside and work in EU countries, for a period which would last until the 1st January 2014.)
German cities have recently called on the Federal Government as well as the Länder and the EU to take action to improve living conditions in Eastern Europe “to make emigration due to poverty pointless.” In a press release (read in German) issued on 14 March, they also demanded that “the Federal State, the Länder and the EU make efforts to tackle existing problems,” emphasising the fact that “cities are facing major challenges “and that “action must be taken urgently”.
This debate on the impact of migratory flows in European cities and how it can be responded to, follows discussions which took place in recent years amongst Efus’ Executive Committee on illegal immigration on the Southern border of Europe (the resolution of 8 March 2012) and on the reception of Roma populations (the resolution of 4 November 2010). Efus continues to uphold the belief that European cities must continue to welcome immigrants and to promote social and economic inclusion, but stresses the necessity of recognising that such cities continue to be at the forefront in managing the impact of immigration and thus need a greater level of support from EU institutions.
List of the Executive Committee members.
See the press clippings.