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Catalan labor minister suggests EU fund regional refugee welcoming policies

Chakir el Homrani meets European Commission director general for migrations in Brussels

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17 October 2018 02:44 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan labor minister wants the EU to directly fund European regions that put forth policies to welcome refugee, as does Catalonia.

Chakir el Homrani was in Brussels on Wednesday, where he met with the European Commission director general for migrations and internal affairs, Paraskevi Michou.

In the meeting, El Homrani suggested to her that the Commission should “think” about the territories and the work they do to welcome refugees.  

And, according to the Catalan official, she “agreed that the responsibility of welcoming [refugee] is for the territories,” and committed to considering how the funds can “directly” get to regions.

“She agrees with us that the border issue is for states to discuss, but is aware that we're the ones who do the work on welcoming and social integration,” said el Homrani.

  • "[The European Commission director general for migrations] is aware that we're the ones who do the work on welcoming and social integration"

    Chakir el Homrani · Catalan labor minister

The labor minister of Catalonia is due to hold a conference in the European Parliament to talk about the Catalan integration model.

“We will talk about the Catalan model of welcoming and inclusion, which has allowed that us to grow by more than 1.5 million people in the 21st century while having a model in which social cohesion works,” he said.

The former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont sent a letter to the European Commission in March 2016 offering to welcome 4,500 refugees.

In June 2018, his successor, Quim Torra, said that Catalonia was ready to receive “a minimum of 1,800 migrants.”

In 2017, Barcelona hosted a 160,000-strong demonstration to show support for migrants and to urge Spain and Europe to allow Catalonia to welcome more refugees. 

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  • The Catalan labor minister, Chakir el Homrani, during his visit in Brussels on October 17, 2018 (Blanca Blay)

  • The Catalan labor minister, Chakir el Homrani, during his visit in Brussels on October 17, 2018 (Blanca Blay)

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