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From the Sea to the City - A Conference of Cities for a Welcoming Europe

[21.06.2021, 18:00 CET]

For Immediate Release

On June 25 and 26, mayors and civil society actors from all over Europe will come together in Palermo for a conference of cities for a welcoming Europe to propose solutions on how to welcome refugees.

While the EU and national governments continue to bet on containment and isolation at all costs in their migration policy, cities want to put human rights at the center and bring about necessary change.

The goal of the conference is to find concrete solutions and establish a european alliance of welcoming municipalities. After the conference, the cities will continue to work closely together and are already planning to meet again in 2022. In addition to the mayors, other prominent guests are expected, including Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Gesine Schwan and MEP Erik Marquardt.

Cecilia Sanfelici, #CitiesMustAct Campaign Coordinator at Europe Must Act says:The upcoming conference of From the Sea to the City provides a channel in which citizens and civil society can create a dialogue with local authorities while it also attempts to influence national and European policies by echoing the voices of municipalities which declare themselves ready to welcome asylum seekers and refugees. The Conference follows the message of the #CitiesMustAct campaign initiated by Europe Must Act.”

This coalition was launched in Palermo through a spontaneous initiative among civil society organizations shortly before June 11 2018, when the Italian government closed its ports to the rescue ship Aquarius, which had on board 600 migrants rescued at sea.

Liza Pflaum, Seebruecke Spokesperson: "Cities, together with civil society, are building a Europe of solidarity. While national governments are unable to come up with humanitarian solutions, we will present our proposed solutions at the conference "From the Sea to the City" in Palermo. Welcoming refugees and migrants means not only ensuring basic human rights but also building a stronger and more just shared future for our communities."

Europe Must Act (EMA) is a growing grassroots movement, bringing together volunteers and NGOs to campaign for the humane, dignified and legal reception of refugees in Europe. EMA was established in March 2020 by a group of volunteers on the Greek Aegean islands of Chios and Samos in response to the ever-worsening situation of the hotspot camps. For more information about EMA, please visit

Further comments available.



Ruth Heylin, Press Spokesperson Europe Must Act



Europe Must Act is a campaign group run by a coalition of NGOs working on the Aegean Islands. Find out more here.


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