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Cities and Their Networks in EU‑Africa Migration Policy

Are They Really Game Changers?

SWP Research Paper 2021/RP 08, 29.11.2021, 33 Seiten


  • The international debate on migration policy increasingly views cities as game changers since cities have to find rapid, efficient, and lasting solutions to problems relating to forced displacement and migration. How­ever, this assessment also has its critics.

  • From a European perspective, cooperating with African cities is important because migration from Africa is expected to rise in the short and medium term. From an African perspective, there is a wish to extend the potential for legal migration and for intercontinental mobility.

  • Existing cooperation between African and European cities shows that the actors involved pursue very different objectives. Their potential for par­ticipation is limited but simultaneously highly dependent on political will and context.

  • In order to make use of cities’ potential for cooperation, particularly in shaping legal migration, cooperation instruments must be designed in such a way as to give cities adequate funding and sufficient powers. Divisions between urban and rural areas should not be deepened, and social conflicts should not be exacerbated.

  • Public funds should be used preferentially to support existing networks, especially those of small and medium-sized cities; such cities should be involved above all in the shaping of labour mobility and migration and in the reception of refugees. Philanthropic funding of cities and city net­works can also be helpful in harnessing the potential of municipal actors.

Table of contents

1 Issues and Recommendations

2 Urbanisation, Migration Trends, and Migration Cooperation between Europe and Africa

2.1 The Increasing Importance of Cities

2.2 Migration Trends between Europe and Africa

2.2.1 Trend 1: Forced displacement plays a greater role in mixed migration movements within and out of Africa than in other regions of the world.

2.2.2 Trend 2: Irregular migration is extensive but not the dominant form of migration.

2.2.3 Trend 3: African migrants largely remain within Africa.

2.2.4 Trend 4: African migration to Europe mainly occurs as family reunification and rarely as labour migration.

2.3 The Current State and Development of EU-Africa Migration Cooperation

3 Cities and Their Networks as Actors

3.1 Cities in International Asylum and Migration Policy

3.2 Forms of City Cooperation in Africa and Europe

3.2.1 Conferences

3.2.2 Projects

3.2.3 Intercontinental City Networks

3.3 Fields of Action for Cities and City Networks

3.3.1 Labour Migration and Mobility

3.3.2 Protecting Refugees

3.3.3 Integration and Political Participation

3.4 City Networks as Spaces of Cooperation

4 Obstacles to City Involve­ment and Attempts to Overcome Them

4.1 Insufficient Funding

4.2 Lack of Authority

4.3 Urban-Rural Relations

4.4 Populism

5 Conclusions and Recommended Actions

5.1 Funding City Networks

5.2 Labour Migration and Skill Partnerships

5.3 Refugee Protection: Recognising and Furthering the Involvement of Cities

5.4 Integration and Participation: City Diplomacy, Exchange, and Political Participation

6 Abbreviations

Issues and Recommendations

Around the world, the challenges posed by forced dis­placement and migration are mounting. Yet inter­national cooperation in this policy area is stagnating – as shown, for example, by the unwillingness of many governments to swiftly implement the Global Com­pact for Migration and the corresponding objectives of the United Nation’s (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustain­able Development and its goals (SDGs). Simultaneously the economic and political importance of cities is grow­ing worldwide. The economic power of some cities and agglomerations is now many times greater than the gross domestic product of small states, and many mayors try to organise international collaboration that might help them to manage problems relat­ing to asylum and migration policy.

In this context, the international debate on migra­tion policy increasingly views cities as potential game changers. They are seen as more orientated towards action than governments, and they tend more to­wards pragmatism, since those who are responsible locally have to find rapid, effective, and lasting solu­tions for “their” refugees and migrants. That is why cities are often called upon to play a significant role in refugee and migration policy. Therefore, inter­national exchange between mayors should, so the argument runs, be promoted, and networks be con­structed and extended giving greater weight to cities and their concerns in international politics.

Larger cities increasingly engage in national debates about refugee and migration policy; they coordinate amongst themselves and become involved in trans­national networks. But what potential do cities actually have in this area, considering – inter alia – their great diversity? How realistic are the hopes that they might be able to act together and contribute to a coherent and effective (and, from the perspective of many non-governmental organisations, less restric­tive) refugee and migration policy? What possibilities and limitations exist in this cooperation? And what lessons can be learned from previous experiences?

The present study examines these issues in the con­text of the cooperation between Africa and Europe on refugee and migration policy. From a European per­spec­tive, cooperation with African actors is particu­larly relevant because there are substantial cleavages between the two continents in demographic and eco­nomic development, and because migration movements are likely to increase in the medium and long term. From an African perspective, there is above all great interest in extending the potential for legal migration and intercontinental mobility.

A closer examination of the role of cities and city networks in EU-African cooperation on asylum and migration policy shows that the interests of African and European cities and city networks in international cooperation differ greatly; that their ability to act is restricted in practice; and that the opportunities and limitations of their involvement are highly dependent on the context. Nevertheless, better use could be made of their potential. While many European cities attend to the reception and integration of refugees, they also seek to balance their own economic and demographic need for immigration with the sceptical attitude of their citizens towards immigration. Many African cities, meanwhile, are administratively and financially overwhelmed by a sustained population influx due to displacement and rural exodus, and by their rapid growth. They also have to fulfil their citizens’ aspirations to intra-African and interconti­nental mobility (not only towards Europe), whilst keeping people safe and preventing human rights vio­lations as well as a brain drain of qualified workers.

Cities and city networks seem more suited in many ways to fulfilling the European promise of a “partnership on equal terms” than national governments with­in the EU currently are, given the latter’s diver­gent interests in migration policy. In order to make use of potential, for instance in shaping legal migra­tion, cooperation instruments have to be designed such that city administrations are not overwhelmed as regards funding or organisation, that conflicts with national governments are prevented, and that divi­sions between urban and rural areas are not deepen­ed. A number of recommendations can be derived for how Germany and the EU could support cities in their networking activities:

  • Funding should preferentially go to existing city net­works since their potential has not yet been fully realised. Smaller and medium-sized cities should be enabled to participate, since secondary cities in Africa especially will in due course be even more strongly impacted by forced displacement and migra­tion.

  • African and European cities and their networks should in future be more closely integrated into the shaping of labour mobility and migration. This could also help cities to overcome their labour mar­ket problems: in Africa, the rapid increase in the supply of labour; in Europe, the growing demand for labour, particularly in certain specialist sectors. Skill partnerships are an especially prom­ising area for cooperation.

  • Many European cities and city networks are already involved in receiving forcibly displaced people. These activities should be supported, for instance the efforts made by the “Solidarity Cities” network in receiving refugees. The German govern­ment and the EU should enhance the organisational and finan­cial capacity of cities and their networks that are already active in refugee policy.

  • Alongside funding, the German government and European Commission should also provide encour­age­ment for cities and their networks to address issues of representation, participation, and gender equality. Municipal actors should offer refugees and migrants the possibility of participating, and more closely involve representatives of civil society and academia as well. This would not only provide better means to find solutions but also further legitimise the participation of cities and their net­works in global migration policy.

Urbanisation, Migration Trends, and Migration Cooperation between Europe and Africa

The role that cities and city networks play in EU-African cooperation on asylum and migration policy is influenced by three fundamental parameters. One, it depends on the way urbanisation unfolds. Urbanisation processes are particularly dynamic in Africa compared with most of the rest of the world, and they will continue to reinforce the importance of cities. Two, the role of cities will depend on how migration in Africa and Europe develops, especially the extent and type of migration, and the proportion of irregular migration. Three, the influence that cities have over cooperation on refugee and migration policy is shaped by previous successes and failures in the collabo­ration between Africa and Europe.

The Increasing Importance of Cities

Cities are growing in economic and political impor­tance not only in Africa but around the world. Over 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is already generated in cities; the same applies to consumption.1 A transnational system of cities has arisen in which urban centres are the hubs of world­wide trade and financial markets. In the early 1990s, the sociologist and economist Saskia Sassen coined the term global cities for this development. She postu­lated that cities with key financial market places have a steering function for the world economy and that they drive international interconnectedness forward.2 This is also true for African cities, especially Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi,3 which receive a large proportion of the foreign direct investment made in Africa.

Cities’ growth in importance is driven by demographic developments. According to UN estimates, the share of people living in urban areas rose from 30 per­cent in 1950 to 55 percent in 2018; in 2030 it is expected to reach 60 percent.4 By that date, the number of megacities, with more than 10 million inhabitants, is expected to have jumped from 33 to 43.5 A higher level of urbanisation has historically gone hand in hand with an expansion of urban life­styles. In the countries concerned, the economic struc­tures are changing from agrarian to industrial activities and services.

In North and South America and Europe, urbani­sation is very advanced: here, the share of urban popu­lations stands at over 80 percent and at 74 per­cent, respectively. By contrast, many developing and emerging countries are still in transition. Asia and Africa currently have low levels of urbanisation of 50 percent and 43 percent, respectively. These numbers will change in coming decades. The UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) expects that by 2050 the urban population will increase by over 60 percent in Asia, and that it will triple in Africa. The cities of those two continents will then be home to about three-quarters of the world’s city-dwellers.6 However, growth will not be greatest in Africa’s and Asia’s mega­cities but in their medium-sized cities, with populations of up to one million.7

This worldwide shift is underpinned by opposing demographic developments in industrialised versus developing countries. Eurostat, the EU’s office for statistics, estimates that by 2050 the population of the EU-27 will drop from 447 million to 441 million even if the (high) immigration levels of recent years con­tinue. This is primarily due to low birth rates, which have already led to a population decrease especially in rural areas and several former industrial regions.8 By contrast, in some European cities, and particularly in coastal areas, populations will grow.9 Overall, to keep their population levels steady, European cities will continue to depend on arrivals from within their own country, other EU states, and non-EU countries. The proportion of Europe’s city-dwellers that was born abroad will continue to rise. In 2015 it was 62 per­cent in Brussels, 37 percent in London, 27 percent in Frankfurt am Main, 25 percent in Paris, and 23 per­cent in Stockholm.10

According to prognoses, three-quarters of Africa’s population growth will occur in cities.

According to UN projections, Africa’s population will more than double from 2015 to 2050, from 1.2 to 2.5 billion.11 This increase is primarily driven by high birth rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Three-quarters of the projected population growth will occur in cities. Africa’s urban population grew from 27 million in 1950 to 567 million in 2015, and will probably rise by a further 950 million by 2050, according to forecasts by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).12

The issue here is that African cities tend to be par­ticularly spatially fragmented and characterised by precarious living conditions.13 Further urbanisation would exacerbate these shortcomings and increase the risk of poverty, since growing urban populations are unlikely to find sufficient sources of income or possibilities for education, and since the already severe lack of housing would probably worsen. What can be predicted is the further growth of informal settlements with poor living conditions, in which an estimated 70 percent of Africa’s urban population already live today.14

Alongside demographic growth, domestic and cross-border migration movements also contribute to the urbanisation of Africa. Here, as everywhere else in the world, cities are places of destination, transit, and departure for voluntary and involuntary move­ments. They attract internally displaced persons, refugees and migrants, but for many of them they only serve as stopovers. Motives for migration are multiple and include the desire for security, work, education, healthcare, religious and social freedoms, and social mobility. Migration into cities can also be a strategy for dealing with poverty, insecurity in rural areas, unsettled property issues, and – surely in­creas­ingly so in the future – the impact of climate change.15 Alongside permanent settlement, there is also signifi­cant temporary migration, which is often circular or seasonal, especially in sub-Saharan states. One reason is that (internal) migrants with precarious and badly paid occasional jobs often find it difficult to get a lasting foothold in cities.16

Cities are also sanctuaries from violent conflict and political persecution. According to the UN’s High Com­missioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than half of the world’s refugees,17 and 60 percent of internally displaced persons,18 live in cities. An exception is sub-Saharan states, where in 2015 80 percent of refugees lived in rural areas.19 Demographic growth and the arrival of refugees, internally displaced persons, and migrants present African cities with enormous chal­lenges but also with opportunities for development.20

Migration Trends between Europe and Africa

African migration movements are viewed with am­biva­lence in Europe. Frequently the continent is per­ceived primarily as a source of irregular immigration to Europe. Simultaneously it is widely assumed that African populations cling to rural structures and that they are immobile compared to other regions of the world. Neither conception does justice to the com­plexity and dynamics of African migration patterns; both convey a misleading impression of migration movements between the two continents.

At first sight, international migration statistics support the assumption that Africa is a secondary player in global migration.21 However, African migra­tion has certainly developed dynamically over time. Africa’s share of international migration movements has disproportionately risen over the past two decades, from 15.1 to 26.6 million migrants. This increase of 76 percent was the largest in all of the world’s regions.22 In the context of the continent’s small but growing share of worldwide migration movements, four main trends characterise African-European migra­tion.

Trend 1: Forced displacement plays a greater role in mixed migration movements within and out of Africa than in other regions of the world.

Particularly in Europe, movements from Africa receive much attention, with the media primarily discussing forced displacement and irregular migra­tion.23 In fact, the proportion of forcibly displaced persons in mixed migration movements within and out of Africa is about a quarter, and is thus higher than in all other regions of the world, where it stands at around one-tenth. In 2019 7.3 million refugees lived in African countries, around a quarter of all registered refugees worldwide.24 The number of inter­nally displaced persons (i.e. persons displaced within their own country) is also disproportionately high compared to other regions: in late 2018 the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) estimated it to be 16.8 million, which is about 40 percent of all internally displaced persons worldwide.25

Trend 2: Irregular migration is extensive but not the dominant form of migration.

Legal routes into Europe are tightly restricted for Africans. This applies to both refugees and migrants. There are almost no legal opportunities for refugees to seek protection in the EU. Migrants have similar difficulties. Generally, EU states have a restrictive migration policy, leaving Africans little chance of obtaining a work or education visa for the EU. Refu­gees as well as migrants therefore use risky irregular migration routes, and resort to using migrant smug­glers. After their irregular arrival, applying for asylum often appears to be the only option to remain for longer in the EU, even for those who have no per­spective of being granted international protection.

Data on the extent of irregular migration from Africa are difficult to obtain.26 Nevertheless, there are indications that regular migration has the largest share of mixed migration movements between Africa and Europe. For example, a comparison of the num­ber of residence permits with the number of irregular arrivals via the central Mediterranean from the ten most important countries of origin in North and West Africa shows that between 2011 and 2017 more people migrated legally than irregularly to the EU from Nigeria, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana, Morocco, and Egypt (with the exception of Mali, Gam­bia and Guinea). In total, 325,000 irregular arrivals were registered in this period from these ten coun­tries, as compared to the 1.15 million residence per­mits that were granted to nationals of these countries by EU states.27

The Missing Migrants Project run by the Inter­national Organisation for Migration (IOM) further shows that Africans are disproportionately exposed to the risks of irregular migration. About 30 percent of worldwide deaths related to international migration that the Project has documented since 2014 concern African nationals.28

Trend 3: African migrants largely remain within Africa.

In international comparisons, the African share in cross-border migration movements is small. In 2019 31 percent of the world’s 272 million international refugees and migrants lived in Asia, 30 percent in Europe, and 22 percent in North America but only 10 percent in Africa.29 The number of African refu­gees and migrants as a proportion of the continent’s population has not significantly risen in recent years. The slight increase can mostly be explained by popu­lation growth.30

When considering migration data for African coun­tries, it must be remembered that a substantial part of migration there is informal. Many borders, which were often drawn haphazardly across existing linguis­tic and economic spaces during the colonial period, continue to be little controlled. Migration movements are therefore under-recorded. Labour markets are also often informal, and there are no shared definitions of irregularity. Census data are missing or outdated, mean­ing that intra-state and cross-border migrations cannot be completely recorded.31

Overall the largest share of African migration move­ments occurs within the continent itself. In late 2019 53 percent of the world’s 40.2 million African refugees and migrants lived in Africa, compared to 26 percent in Europe, 11 percent in Asia, and 8 percent in North America.32

Trend 4: African migration to Europe mainly occurs as family reunification and rarely as labour migration.

Family reunification is still the most common legal pathway for African immigrants to stay in the EU. In 2019 about 38 percent of all visas for African nation­als were granted for this reason. The exceptions are Eritrean and Somalian nationals, for whom humanitarian reasons were the majority, with 72 and 49 per­cent of permits respectively.33

The EU’s 2003 Directive on Family Reunification34 gives member states some leeway, which has led to different rules on family reunifications within the EU. In general, these depend on the applicant’s age and residence status and specify, for example, who may be considered a family member, what conditions must be met in terms of housing and security of live­li­hood, or the length of stay after which a family re­unification becomes possible.35 Some EU states also have visa options for descendants living abroad, partly based on quotas.36

In total, in 2019 10.3 million African nationals lived in the EU, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), about a quarter of all migrants from Africa worldwide. Around half of the Africans living in the EU come from three North African states: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The African diaspora is strongly con­centrated in a few EU member states. France alone has 40 percent of all the migrants from Africa regis­tered in the EU (with a majority once again from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia); another 30 percent live in seven other EU destination countries.37

Data availability for the described trends in EU-African migration is still inadequate, even though it has recently improved somewhat. The numbers avail­able depict the majority of migration move­ments, though not all of them. Nevertheless, the described trends support at least two insights that are significant for shaping migration relationships and the role of cities. One, in contrast to widespread assump­tions, emigration to Europe is not the first choice of many Africans willing to migrate; they prefer intra-African mobility, relegating migration to Europe to second place.38 Two, irregular migration has its part to play in Africa-EU migration movements, but ultimately legal immigration predominates – despite all its hurdles.39

The Current State and Development of EU-Africa Migration Cooperation

In recent years, and particularly since the so-called refugee crisis of 2015–2016, EU and African coun­tries have increased their cooperation efforts and invested considerably in collaboration. In September 2015 the EU and its member states passed the Euro­pean Agenda on Migration, which contained imme­diate measures but was primarily intended to have a long-term impact through closer cooperation.40 Existing partnership agreements and instruments were also upgraded, inter alia through the Joint Valletta Action Plan, which the EU and African heads of state and government adopted in November 2015.41 The Plan stipulates a large number of measures, which include better use of the contribution that migration makes to development; strengthening cooperation on legal migration and mobility; increasing protection for migrants and asylum-seekers; combating irregular migration, migrant smuggling, and human traffick­ing; and improving cooperation on return, readmis­sion, and reintegration.

Africa and the EU have fundamental conflicts of interest regarding migration policy.

The African Union (AU) and Africa’s Regional Eco­nomic Communities (RECs) have a significant record of agreements concerning migration and forced dis­placement. However, implementation by member states was and is overall limited. Since the 1991 Abuja Treaty that founded the African Economic Commu­nity,42 governments have been pursuing their vision of an African internal market, which is also supposed to establish free movement in Africa by 2028. In 2006 the AU adopted the Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA) to create a common basis for policy development by member states and Regional Economic Com­munities. An updated version of the MPFA was adopt­ed in 2018. In 2015 the general assembly of the African Union agreed the Agenda 2063.43 This stipulates the in­tro­duction of an African Union passport and the lift­ing of visa obligations within Africa for those who hold it.

In spite of all efforts to bring about closer coopera­tion, African-EU collaboration on migration policy44 is still characterised by substantial imbalance. The EU continues to use the majority of its funds to reduce irregular migration (e.g. through cooperation between border police forces)45 and to support the return of irregular migrants and rejected asylum-seekers. Only a small proportion of the funds is earmarked for sup­porting safe and legal migration and regional or con­tinental free movement. Despite the great number of policy dialogues between the EU and Africa, fun­damental conflicts of interest remain:

  • The EU’s desire for effective border controls, also between African states, collides with Africa’s inter­est in regional and inter-regional free movement.46

  • There is a contradiction between Europe’s priority of returning African nationals obliged to leave the EU and Africa’s desire for legal migration oppor­tunities.

  • European governments’ wish to shift the task of international refugee protection onto African countries runs counter to the interest of African governments in a fairer international and inter-continental division of responsibilities regarding refugee protection.

However, it is not only diverging interests that com­plicate cooperation on refugee and migration policy between Africa and the EU. While the AU very swiftly agreed an implementation strategy following the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration, only some EU member states have managed to do so. Conceptually at least, African states have been more capable of acting on this issue. A reason for the deficit on the European side is migration-policy differences among EU member states, especially between those with a longer migration history regarding Africa and East European member states. Such divergences have already complicated earlier European cooperation, for instance in implementing the EU’s Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) and its mobility part­ner­ships.47 This also put a strain on the negotiations for the new partnership agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP), the Post-Cotonou Agreement, which was finalised by a political accord in December 2020.

Overall, African-European cooperation on refugee and migration policy remains unsatisfactory for both sides, despite recent progress. The dialogue on migra­tion continues to be characterised by the substantial power asymmetry between the states involved; and cities and city partnerships have so far not been sys­tematically involved in this cooperation. Much poten­tial for action has therefore been left unrealised, since there is a congruence of interests between at least some European and African countries especially in labour migration – given the lack of skilled labour in Europe and the high youth unemployment in Africa. Closer cooperation of African and European cities could contribute to enhancing legal migration.

Cities and Their Networks as Actors

The political influence of cities will likely continue to rise both nationally and internationally, given their growing economic and social importance.48 Current international declarations and agreements, such as the UN’s New Urban Agenda, the Agenda 2030 with its Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Accords, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, also point to the significance of cities in implementing the respective objectives. The Cities Alliance, a global partnership of currently 39 actors that combats urban poverty and promotes sustainable development, anticipates that 65 percent of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with their 169 targets will have to be reached in and by cities.49 Some ob­servers hope that local actors will drive the halting implementation of the SDGs forward and give new impetus and credibility to global cooperation.50 It is certainly true that multilateral processes and com­mis­sions are increasingly opening up to cities and their concerns.51

Cities in International Asylum and Migration Policy

One aspect of cities’ increasing importance is their involvement in international refugee and migration policy beyond their usual responsibilities for the eco­nomic and social integration of migrants locally.52 For a long time, global city networks did not discuss forced displacement and migration – unlike topics such as the climate, the environment, energy, infra­structure, transport, or the economy.53 One reason is that regulating international migration movements and mobility is traditionally a task for national policy­makers. Governments (as well as many local decision-makers) tend to see this area as a “domaine réservé” of state sovereignty, even though cities have a key role to play in dealing with forced displacement and migration.54

Cities are thus rarely integrated into their national governments’ recruitment strategies, despite exerting a powerful economic attraction and being an impor­tant migration actor for that reason alone.55 Many refu­gees and migrants settle in cities because they expect to find work, income, and reliable support struc­tures there.56 In addition, refugees and migrants frequently consider cities to be tolerant, diverse, and full of opportunities.57 Cities also often handle immi­grants more pragmatically than national governments, and many view multi-ethnic societies not as a threat but perceive their positive aspects. Cities’ inte­gration activities thus frequently balance out weak­nesses in the national policy.58

There are many examples of cities increasingly becoming involved internationally.

In recent years, the involvement of cities has increased in the area of international refugee and migration policy as well. Cities have attempted to raise awareness for their interests through exchange on international platforms, through coordinated action, and through lobbying.59 They are active in many different ways and use, inter alia, partnerships and programmes that have existed for other political issues for some time. Some cities have set up inter­national departments and fund them appropriately.60

There are many examples of cities increasingly becoming involved at the international level. This includes New Urban Agenda, the final document of the UN Habitat II Conference 2016 in Quito, Ecuador. The debate about migration and forced displacement dominates, as does rights-orientated interaction with migrants.61 City officials also actively participated in the negotiations on the Global Compact for Migra­tion; they made the case for non-discriminatory access to basic services such as health and education.62 City network activities have also markedly in­creased, as can be seen in the 2018 Bristol Declaration of the Global Parliament of Mayors, for instance.63 In it, the mayors commit themselves to implementing the Global Compact for Migration and to a positive view of migration. They call on governments and inter­national institutions to include cities in the development and implementation of migration policy, and to support them financially and organisationally in these efforts as well.64 The network also participated in the eleventh UNHCR Protection Dialogue in 2018 and emphasised the important role of cities in the con­text of migration and forced displacement.65

When depicting and assessing the asylum and migra­tion activities of cities, it is important to re­mem­ber that urban agglomerations are very different in Africa and Europe. The extent of migration and forced displacement differs greatly between cities of the Global North and South, but also between bigger and smaller cities, especially between mega cities and secondary cities.66 This is especially true for African cities. The diversity of migration situations is also par­ticularly large in African cities; many of them are, at one and the same time, spaces of origin, transit, and destination for migration movements.

Cities that can be defined as spaces of transit are e.g. Agadez (Niger), Arlit (Niger) and Gao (Mali) in West Africa. These are cities that have, in some cases, been hubs for trans-Saharan trade for centuries, and in which the transport and smuggling of refugees and migrants currently makes up a substantial part of the local economy.67 Other cities located on important migra­tion routes are hubs for refugees, migrants, and the internally displaced, such as Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Johannesburg (South Africa) or Nairobi (Kenia).68 Bamako in Mali is likewise a hub, but it is also a destination for forced and voluntary return migration.69 Another case is border towns: all over Africa, these are also important migration hubs. Their eco­nomic relevance strongly depends on the extent of the (often partly informal) cross-border mobility. This is the case for Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which lies on the continent’s busiest border for trade;70 or for Beitbridge between South African and Zimbabwe, which is southern Africa’s busiest road border crossing; and for Seme-Krake between Nigeria and Benin, which sees 70 percent of the subregion’s transit trade.71 The fact that these border towns are growing reflects efforts across Africa to facilitate mobility.

Compared to urban areas in other developing coun­tries, African cities are also often viewed as “costly, fragmented, and disconnected”.72 Harare (Zimbabwe) and Maputo (Mozambique) are considered examples of “urbanisation without development” – areas in which the misallocation of work, low prod­uc­tivity, and badly coordinated administrative struc­tures complicate among other things the reception of refugees and migrants.73

Forms of City Cooperation in Africa and Europe

Cities use different formats for their international activities regarding refugee and migration policy. These are primarily conferences, projects, and net­works. Each format has a different potential. Gen­erally, there are cities on both continents with committed mayors who are interested in finding pragmatic solutions to asylum and migration chal­lenges. Nevertheless, European cities, city networks, and platforms have a higher degree of organisation, are usually better equipped in terms of staff and funding and have wider political competences. In comparison, the networking of African cities is less established, which means that they manifest them­selves less on the international stage.

European city networks also frequently focus on integrating migrants and refugees in local communi­ties. This leads to a substantial degree of exchange and support, as can be seen in the platforms set up for the purpose as well as in the networks themselves. Furthermore, the EU supports both some of the ex­change and coordination within such networks. By contrast, African cities lack that support, which is in turn reflected in a lower level of networking.


The issue of migration and forced displacement is increasingly the topic of conferences on both con­tinents. Thus the participants in the Global Con­ference on Cities and Migration in 2017 asked to be recognised as key actors on these issues and to be more closely involved in shaping national and international policy.74 They stated their interest in contributing to global processes, such as the then-imminent negotiations on Global Compact for Migra­tion, but they also made it clear that they expected financial support from their national governments and organisational help from international actors such as UN Habitat and IOM.75

The Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migra­tion, and Development, which has been meeting annually since 2014, also focuses on international cooperation between cities on migration policy.76 During the fifth Forum in Marrakesh in 2018, more than 150 city officials committed to implementing the Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees, and strengthening cooperation between cities.77 Since 2017 the Mayoral Forum has increasingly participated in the intergovernmental Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD). At the GFMD summit in Quito in January 2020, the Mayoral Forum became a permanent part of the GFMD process. Both the Mayoral Forum and the Mayors Mechanism of the GFMD are supported by the umbrella organisation United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the IOM, and the Open Society Foundation.78

This increasing exchange amidst conferences can be taken as a sign that the issue of migration and forced displacement has gained in importance for cities. However, it is also evident that such conferences have so far only aimed at cooperation between cities in the African-European context when they have the backing of international actors such as the UN, EU, or private foundations. This raises the ques­tion of whether cities can actually act independently on this matter, or whether their participation ulti­mately depends on external funding. Other confer­ences show that cities have to cope with a variety of challenges and that the topics of migration, mobility, and forced displacement are important for them with­out necessarily always being their primary inter­est.


The conferences demonstrate that many international actors have an interest in cities’ practical involvement in the area of migration and forced displacement. There are numerous donor-financed projects that bring together European and African cities or support espe­cially African cities in dealing with these matters. They fall into two categories: those orientated towards exchange and dialogue, and practical projects for or with the city governments concerned.

In the first category is the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM), which was establish­ed in 2015 by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in cooperation with UCLG and UN Habitat. It brings together experts and cities so as to improve the knowledgebase on urban migration and migration management, and to sup­port mutual learning, for instance regarding the provision of services and employment opportunities for migrants with a view to human rights. The project collaborates with cities in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. It consists of drawing up migration profiles for the cities involved that capture their respec­tive challenges and possibilities for action.79

Projects such as the Mayors Dialogue are based on city initiatives but require support from external actors.

Another dialogue project is the Mayors Dialogue on Growth and Solidarity, which the Open Society Foun­dation proposed in 2020 via the newly founded Mayors Migration Council, which it funds jointly with the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The Dialogue is organised by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) under the auspices of the mayors of Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Milan (Italy). Twenty African and European cities participate in the project with the objective of first formulating a shared vision on human mobility and then introducing it into national and international policy processes. The idea is to identify and exchange increasingly on innovative city strat­egies in this area and to convince other actors to sup­port practical cooperation between cities.80

The Mayors Dialogue is derived from an initiative by the two mentioned cities while the ICMPD project was initiated by the donors. However, both formats require financial and organisational support from ex­ternal actors. The same is true of a number of projects on migration and forced displacement in and with African cities. For example, as part of the EU Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa, a project has been created in the Horn of Africa to support the city councils of Koboko in Uganda and Asosa in Ethiopia, both of which have been hit hard by forced migration move­ments. It includes direct technical cooperation with city councils.81 Here the EU is responsible not only for the financing but also for the conception.

The programmes of the Cities Alliance are similarly strongly characterised by external actors. As part of the programme Migration and the Inclusive City, vari­ous donors (mostly international organisations) sup­ported cities inter alia in Argentina, Italy, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, and Guatemala in cooperating on integration and reintegration.82 Nine pilot cities par­tici­pate in the current Cities and Migration programme.83 There is also a regional project on urban planning linked to rural-to-city migration in nine second-tier cities in Africa. These projects are mostly run with the participation of universities, national authorities, civil-society organisations, and the private sector.84

Without a doubt, the participating city councils benefit from such donor-financed projects. It is strik­ing, however, that the cities are not always involved in the implementation and, at times, seem to have only limited influence over the design of the concrete projects. It is therefore unclear whether projects on migration and forced displacement would also be prioritised by the cities themselves or which topics they would consider most urgent. It can be assumed that many projects would not see the light of day without external funding by donor countries and philanthropic foundations.

Intercontinental City Networks

Intercontinental city networks also present a mixed picture concerning their engagement in dealing with migration and forced displacement. In the EU, many networks are concentrating on integration issues, including regions4integration and Integrating Cities. The former was jointly launched in 2019 by the European Committee of the Regions (ECR) and leading organisa­tions such as the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, and Eurocities.85 The initiative aims to ensure that local and regional perspectives are more closely taken into account in EU migration policy; it supports cities and regions in making proposals for EU projects on integrating migrants.86 It also offers a platform for exchange on integration, and collects examples of good practice.87 Integrating Cities – cre­ated by Eurocities and the European Commission – offers cities an exchange with European institutions, think tanks, international organisations, and aca­demia on issues of integration and how to tackle them practically.88 Within the Eurocities network, the Solidarity City89 movement is active more specifically in matters of forced displacement, championing a more humane refugee policy; its participating cities declare themselves willing to accept asylum seekers, in some cases in direct contradiction of national policy.90 In the English-speaking world, the Sanctuary City movement operates with similar objectives.91

City networks in Africa are also increasingly aware of migration and forced displacement as an issue, for instance UCLG Africa. This umbrella organisation represents African cities and municipal governments in regional and international fora and promotes decen­tralised democratic governance.92

Beyond Europe and Africa, a number of inter­conti­nental networks have existed for some time, such as the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF)93 or the Association Internationale des Maires Francophones (AIMF).94 However, they deal with mat­ters related to development and cities, not explicitly with migration and forced displacement. Both net­works derive from former colonial structures. The CLGF wants to assure that local governments have a voice within the Commonwealth. The AIMF has set itself the task, inter alia, of promoting the exchange of ideas and financing concrete cooperation projects. Both networks are very involved in issues such as im­proving municipal services and decentralisation.95

With its concentration on (forced) migration, the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) is the exception among intercontinental city networks. It operates world­wide. Encouraged by the positive experiences made during the negotiations for the Global Com­pacts for Migration and Refugees, it wants to lastingly strengthen the role of cities in international migration policy.96

Overall, city networks have gained in importance in different forms of intercontinental cooperation over the past decade. This trend is likely to be strength­ened with regards to the future of EU-Africa cooperation, e.g. in the context of a new comprehensive Strat­egy for Africa planned by the European Commission. The new EU-ACP Agreement, for example, will con­tain three regional partnerships for African, Carib­bean, and Pacific states. In the African case, the migra­tion issue is expected to be given greater overall importance and the management of migration and mobility to be made an explicit objective of the cooperation. Beyond this, in the Post-Cotonou nego­tiations the European Commission has repeatedly formulated its goal of making cities more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.97 This is in keeping with the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The Agenda describes cities as centres of cultural and economic activities, with modernised infrastructure, in which people have access to affordable and dignified hous­ing (including funding for housing), and to all vital necessities, such as water, plumbing and heating, energy, public transport, and information and com­munications technology (ICT).98

Yet the negotiation results so far demonstrate that local actors have not been sufficiently taken into account in the process. The European Parliament has referred to this deficit and called for national parlia­ments, municipal authorities, civil society, and the private sector to be more involved in monitoring and assessing the programme for partnership priorities.99 Several networks are in fact actively working to gain cities a more powerful voice. The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is coordinating with national, regional, and local authorities; it promotes political debate not only in Brussels but also in the EU’s regions and towns as well as outside of Europe – with the objective of integrating their concerns into EU legislative processes.

Platforma – an alliance of cities and regions that are active in international development – also ad­vocates for stronger EU and member-state commitment to local and regional governments, for instance through developing country roadmaps.100 The alliance also supports capacity-building in the national mem­ber associations so that the latter can participate in political and technical dialogue with the EU, member states, and central authorities. Platforma also calls for local and regional governments to be involved in national and EU reporting processes.

Fields of Action for Cities and City Networks

The analysis of networking activities of African and European cities and city networks shows that many cities are interested in intercontinental cooperation, and that they will act on that interest as long as they receive the necessary financial resources. To date, three topics have been the focus of cities exchanging on asylum and migration policy: shaping labour migra­tion and mobility, protecting refugees, and inte­gration policies for immigrants. What precisely have cities and city networks accomplished in these fields, and what is their potential? How might they support the asylum and migration-policy activities of their governments, and in what areas do they have oppos­ing interests?

Labour Migration and Mobility

The structural labour shortage of EU countries will grow in coming decades due to its shrinking and ageing population. It will therefore become even more important to integrate the local level in shaping labour migration. However, there are few examples so far of cities being involved in recruiting workers for their local companies.

Skills partnerships have so far only been conceived at the national level. Municipal actors could play a greater role.

Yet they show that there is potential for cities and city networks to cooperate on labour migration. Euro­pean cities suffering from local labour shortages could, in coordination with their national governments, co­operate with African cities to recruit the appropriate workers. Opportunities in this regard have improved in recent years, due to some EU states preparing for their growing labour needs by facilitating the arrival of migrants. Germany, for example, created new oppor­tunities for recruitment and intake of skilled workers through its Fachkräfteeinwanderungs­gesetz (Skilled Workers Immigration Law, FEG), which en­tered into force in March 2020. Those reforms, how­ever, do not stipulate a more important role for cities.

That is why harnessing the potential of cities could be promoted in the context of skill partnerships.101 Milan city council and a consortium of partners – con­sisting of Turin city council, the Piedmont em­ploy­ment agency, local actors in Morocco, and the city of Tunis – recently implemented such a part­ner­ship. This MENTOR programme is intended to im­prove the temporary and circular migration of young people between Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia. The main objec­tives are selecting young candidates for intern­ships (including training before emigration and men­toring after the internship), organising study visits for local authority officials working with youth or in training and job provision in Milan and Turin, as well as aware­ness and information campaigns for youth in Tunisia and Morocco on the issue of temporary and circular migration.102

Such skill partnerships have so far exclusively been conceived at the national level. However, municipal actors could play a bigger role here in the future if their governments enabled them to identify areas suit­able for skill partnerships and to develop com­ponents and curricula for job training. Municipal governments could include training and teaching institutions, trade unions, and chambers of commerce and trade as well as locally implanted firms. Inter­national companies with a presence in both African and European cities would be an especially good fit for this. Even more important could be small and medium enterprises willing to invest in local insti­tutions and use their own training capacities to create more labour mobility between European and African cities. This, however, would require public funds. Models of circular migration could also be tested in such a framework.

Protecting Refugees

Some European mayors are active in solidarity net­works (frequently in response to appeals from their citizens), which call for safe pathways for refugees, and criticise the lack of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. These city networks could be utilised for further exchanges of information about the resettlement of refugees as well as for funding municipal involvement wherever national programmes allow.

Some European networks are dedicated exclusively to such issues in refugee policy. Solidarity Cities, for in­stance, which was brought into being as part of the Eurocities network, concerns itself with exchange of information and knowledge, technical and financial assistance for cities, the strengthening of their capac­ities to act, and the reception of resettled and EU-in­ter­nally relocated refugees in European cities. Such net­works could be extended into transnational ini­tia­tives that promote exchange not only between Euro­pean cities but also with African cities that receive refugees and internally displaced people. It would be possible, for example, to start exchange programmes for city officials on technical questions of hosting refu­gees or opportunities to mobilise additional funding.

Integration and Political Participation

Cities and city networks can promote the integration of refugees and migrants into the labour market and reduce the negative repercussions of unregulated migra­tion – such as wage dumping and precarious working conditions. The best pathway would be part­nerships with employer organisations and trade unions. Many European cities have expanded and adjusted their integration services for migrants, though often without resolving the question of the necessary resources.103

In their efforts to integrate new arrivals and im­prove their perspectives, some European cities also involve members of the local diaspora. This approach offers opportunities for strengthening trade relations and driving forward business development between European and African cities.

Without naturalisation, refugees and migrants often find the traditional pathways into political par­ticipation blocked, even when they have been living in their host cities for many years. As part of city part­nerships and networks, cities can share information on existing models to facilitate participation, such as refugee and migrant advisory councils.

City Networks as Spaces of Cooperation

The number of city networks and initiatives has multi­plied across the world in the last three decades.104 Their beginnings, however, go back to the early 20th century.105 Originally city networks pri­marily spread in Europe and the EU but they are now established around the world.106 Total estimates are hard to come by; in 2016 the number of such net­works and initia­tives worldwide was put at 200.107 City networks are active in various areas such as the climate, energy, or sustainability; they support their members in ex­changing, mobilising additional resources, and influ­encing global processes.108

City networks can be differentiated by their profile: generalist ones such as Eurocities; thematic ones, such as Polis for traffic in Europe or Platforma for development cooperation; and geographical ones such as the Union of Baltic Cities109 or MedCities.110 There are also linguistic-cultural networks, often aligned with (for­mer) colonial structures, such as the Commonwealth Local Government Forum or Association Internationale des Maires Francophones; multi-stakeholder networks such as the Cities Alliance; networks brought into being by philanthropical foundations, for example C40; or those established on individual initiatives, such as the Global Parliament of Mayors.111 There are two trends here. One, the growing commitment of powerful philanthropic foundations that cooperate with large cities; two, networks increasingly uniting cities and local administrations with civil society or UN agencies.112

As shown above, migration and forced displace­ment are still relatively new topics for city networks. Studies demonstrate that networks have so far rarely tackled these issues comprehensively or exclusively, with the exception of the Mayors Migration Council, which is primarily funded by private foundations. It is therefore difficult to assess their commitment in this policy area. However, the experiences of other networks with different thematic focuses show that internationally active cities value networks above all for exchange and joint lobbying.113 From their perspec­tive, obstacles to participation are the limited time of mayors, the lack of finances for external ac­tiv­i­ties, the excessive number of networks and events, and staff shortages. As a consequence, any mayor want­ing to become involved in networks has to clear­ly prioritise which network and which issues.114 Furthermore, extensive networks are necessarily hetero­geneous in character; this makes them politi­cally less impactful and contributes to participating cities often limiting themselves to technical exchanges.115

Another problem is that big and influential cities do not necessarily depend on networks to attract atten­tion for their demands.116 Consequently, they frequently use their position to pursue their own interests, largely ignoring those of their network part­ners.117 Existing city networks also often view new networks – which tend to be financed by private foun­dations – with a critical eye and assume that the donors have a hidden agenda.118

It is true that newer networks, such as C40 or 100 Resilient Cities, which are funded by foundations, have more resources and are more effective at public rela­tions than traditional networks, which are financed by member contributions and take their decisions consensually.119 This leads to a fragmentation of the landscape of city networks, which complicates their efforts to be noticed and taken seriously as key actors.120

Obstacles to City Involve­ment and Attempts to Overcome Them

Cities are directly impacted by migration movements and their consequences. Those in charge locally not only want and need to find practical solutions for problems in situ, they are also increasingly active in the global governance of migration and forced dis­place­ment. Whilst this commitment is – as shown above – often welcome, the efforts of cities are restricted by many factors. These include inadequate finances, conflicts with their national government over capacities and competences, having to manage urban-rural contrasts, and having to deal with popu­list, anti-refugee, and anti-migrant political movements.

Despite all their differences, African and European cities face similar challenges linked to migration and refugee policy. They have to ensure that their needs for workers, legal migration opportunities, and refu­gee protection are met, and that the integration of migrants and refugees is so successful that it contrib­utes to their own economic and social devel­op­ment. African and European mayors can profit from inter­national cooperation on migration and refugee mat­ters if they are able to persuade their citizens that this cooperation solves problems and promotes development.

Insufficient Funding

While many cities repeatedly emphasise within their networks that they would like to take responsibility for refugees and migration even beyond their direct jurisdiction, they cannot often fund such a commit­ment. Participating in international processes re­quires additional financial efforts, not just for staff, travel, and conferences, but also to implement the agreed initiatives. Many African cities in particular lack the necessary resources for a greater involvement in refugee and migration policy.121 They tend to have low tax revenues, partly due to insufficient decentralisation.122 Moreover, cities often find it difficult to obtain loans from multilateral banks.123

Cities therefore bring up the issue of funding in their networks. The Africa-Europe Local and Regional Gov­ern­ment Forum has thus advocated making a funding instrument an integral component of the partnership between Africa and Europe in the context of the post-Cotonou agreement. The Forum “Cities and Regions for Development Cooperation” has called on the European Commission to simplify its procedures, give technical support, establish the appropriate public and private funding mechanisms, improve regions’ access to finan­cial markets, and identify potential tax sources for regional actors. The European Council of the Regions has also highlighted the issue of financing: it calls for financial autonomy for local and regional authorities as well as adequate financial means for them to accom­plish their tasks. Similar demands have been made by African cities during the Africities 7 conference, so as to enable municipalities there to make use of EU-funded projects.

There are four ways to support cities in their tasks relating to refugee and migration policy, and net­work­ing: (1) designing funding instruments for cities that are more sensitive to migration and forced dis­place­ment; (2) facilitating loans for cities by creating new funding instruments so that these cities can better fulfil their tasks in this context; (3) tailoring humanitarian aid more specifically to cities in an emergency – especially the reception of large num­bers of forcibly displaced persons; and (4) supporting processes of fiscal decentralisation that make it pos­sible for cities to develop their own financial resources in the long term.

More specifically:

  1. Funding for cities as part of general development cooperation could be designed such that it also increases their ability to act on refugee and migration policy. For example, when development cooperation addresses urbanisation processes, it could take into account the challenges posed by an influx of refugees and migrants. Development cooperation instruments could be used to promote cities’ efforts to offer language training and the ex­pansion of basic services to migrants and refugees.

  2. Climate-policy instruments can serve as an exam­ple for supporting cities with financing or obtain­ing loans for larger projects. In 2020 the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), in collaboration with the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, established the City Climate Finance Gap Fund, which is intended to support cities in finding funding opportunities and plan investments in low-emis­sion infrastructure.124 Since 2018 there has also been a project by the German agency for inter­national cooperation (GIZ) and the climate-policy city network C40, the Cities Finance Facility.125 The Facility also attempts to find needs-based planning and funding solutions for sustainable city infrastructure and for the implementation of local meas­ures for climate mitigation and adaptation.126 Not only could aspects of migration and refugee policy be integrated into such solutions, new fund­ing instruments could also be specifically tailored to situations of migration and forced displacement. Here it would be important to provide the necessary expertise and ensure the appropriate combi­nation of subsidies and loans. Finally, financial resources would have to be made available to cities flexibly and over several years so as to help them integrate new migrants.127

  3. Since refugee protection is a global public good, cities that take in many refugees and displaced per­sons in emergency situations could be espe­cially supported by international actors. Any assistance should be given as part of an area-based approach, whose efficacy and durability could be strengthened by involving local authorities, local civil society, and the private sector early on.128 Targeted investment could improve basic services in the health and education sectors, housing, and waste management; together with the private sector, em­ployment opportunities could also be created for local communities, independent of their migration status.129

  4. Decentralisation processes, including fiscal ones, should be supported such that cities, particularly in Africa, can exploit their own financial resources in the medium to long term. Exchange between European and African cities would be an obvious way to achieve this.130 However, many African cities only have relatively low tax revenues since their economies are often largely informal.131 Research has repeatedly shown, for example, that in many African cities informal settlements are the only kind of affordable housing for many of the poorest – which, of course, include most refugees, internally displaced persons, and migrants. In­formality should therefore not be considered an aspect of urbanisation that must be combated, but one that should be integrated when designing programs to improve living conditions.132 Muni­cipal councils should be enabled to cooperate with the informal sector.133 This could mean, for instance, a binding rule that when informal settlements are formalised, their inhabitants are included to ensure that such an upgrade does not lead to further displacement. Measures to reduce exploi­tation and the risks of informal working conditions must be checked for unintended side effects so that, for example, any prohibitions do not block access to the justice system.

Lack of Authority

Those in charge locally often do not have the orga­nisational or financial resources or the staff to cope with their tasks concerning refugees and migrants. Their national governments frequently do not include them in national asylum, migration, and integration policy. A greater involvement by cities with refugees and migrants and policies concerning them may not be welcomed by political actors at the national level since they do not like giving up decision-making powers to local authorities. Politicians at the national level also worry that mayors might ‘meddle’ in global processes to raise their international profile, which might increase their domestic power base.

Traditionally, national governments regard refugee and migration policy as their own remit and make cer­tain that regional and local actors have no decision-making powers. Where local action deviates from na­tional policy, conflicts often arise. From the na­tional governments’ perspective, international activi­ties by cities are an additional challenge to this policy area because governments have to ensure that such com­mit­ments do not run counter to the national interest or weaken their own position in international nego­tia­tions. This is another reason why governments attempt to control or even restrict cities’ international activities.

Additionally, in many African cities decentralisation processes are in their infancy. This is particularly the case for the Francophone countries, which have strongly centralised structures.134 Yet even where city councils in more decentralised systems have suf­fi­cient powers and their involvement is welcome, they still need resources. This includes not only the finan­cial resources discussed above but also staff capacities in planning and administration. However, many African city administrations lack (sufficiently quali­fied) staff.135 Africa has the lowest proportion of urban planners to population size anywhere in the world. Particularly smaller cities often cannot afford such specialists.136 But cities in the Global North do not always have the necessary trained staff for inte­gra­tion, intercultural communication, and emergency accommodation either.

The exchange of experience between African and European cities should be promoted even further.

A lack of cooperation between political actors at the national, regional, and local levels can have severe consequences. This need not be the case: cities that are able to act, have the necessary powers, and are internationally networked can make important contributions to managing asylum and migration tasks. What is decisive for the work of cities and municipalities is an adequate capacity to act as well as structured cooperation with national actors.137 There are currently trends towards decentralisation in many states’ refugee and migration policy, which transfer decision-making powers from national to subnational governments – mostly for more effi­ciency and only in a few sectors – but without pro­viding cities with the necessary finances.138

In general, capacity-building for city administrations and local governments should also help them to deal with refugees and migrants. An intensive ex­change of experience between African and European cities would be helpful here. In particular, travel grants and subsidies should be provided to enable African cities to participate in the relevant fora and exchange programmes. Advice for local actors on the numerous networks and grant opportunities that exist would also be beneficial.

Further complex challenges will be faced by rapidly growing African cities in particular. These include the consequences of climate change and the need to create basic services and employment opportunities for inhabitants. To fulfil these tasks, cities will require additional support, particularly with regards to administration and urban planning. Development cooperation could thus make an important contrib­ution by promoting the capacity-building of city coun­cils139 – ideally in such a way as to include civil society, the private sector, and immigrant popula­tions.140

Decentralisation processes are a unique opportu­nity for German development cooperation to foster interaction between German and African cities, whilst considering issues of migration and forced displace­ment. The German experience of a decentralised sys­tem of municipal self-government with powers based on the principle of subsidiarity should, as research frequently suggests, be more strongly integrated into the international exchange between cities.141

National governments are particularly dependent on local actors in the sociocultural integration of immi­grants. An effective, coherent, and legitimate asylum and migration policy therefore requires the appropriate balance: between the state’s prerogative of determining arrival and stay in the country, the securing of a unified national policy, and the realities of migration at the local level. German and European development cooperation should support national part­ner governments in the long term and in this pro­cess also ensure that city councils’ capacities are built up to meet the challenges of urbanisation and to cope with migrants and refugees.

Urban-Rural Relations

Debates in Europe often emphasise conflicts between the city and the countryside. These are, so the nar­ra­tive runs, not only reflected in elections – in which cities vote less conservatively than rural areas – but also in contrasting values and lifestyles. With regards to migration and forced displacement, cities are often described as open, cosmopolitan spaces in which dif­fer­ent people can live together, while fear and rejec­tion of “strangers” reign in the countryside. This perceived divide could become a problem for cities’ international involvement if cities gain more weight in international political processes through their networking than rural populations, thus increasing this supposed divide.

Particularly in Africa, where rural areas are often politically neglected, impoverished, and have a weak state presence,142 this could be a risk. In reality, urban-rural relations in Africa are more complex than the above dichotomy suggests. In many African coun­tries, it is becoming increasingly difficult to clearly define cities (and their boundaries) in administrative and technical terms.143 Cities and the countryside are interconnected in a lot of fields, e.g. in food produc­tion.144 Circular migration also contributes to this inter­linking.145 Migration into the city does not neces­sarily mean that links with rural origins are severed. On the contrary, it often leads to the creation of sav­ings groups, which send back money and thus act as a social safety net.146

Given these multiple connections, experts view the clear division into the categories urban versus rural as outdated. The focus should rather be on the growing fragmentation of city societies due to inequality. Afri­can cities such as Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi have particularly stark social inequality compared to other parts of the world. This can become a driver of crime, violence, and conflicts, especially if insti­tutional capacities are inadequate for managing urbani­sation.147 Any support given to cities on forced dis­place­ment and migration therefore has to take into account increasing urbanisation as well as the sur­rounding rural areas.


Every involvement in migration policy that does not explicitly aim to limit migration runs the risk of being criticised by populist parties. Since their influ­ence is growing in many EU member states, other political actors tend to be careful not to turn them­selves into the targets of populist campaigns, let alone extremist threats. This is especially true at the local level.

Taking in a larger number of refugees, internally displaced persons, and migrants can cause problems for local councils, especially if the city’s resources are scant and already insufficient for its residents. Pledg­ing for more immigration or better integration of migrants can therefore carry substantial political risks for mayors.148 This applies not only to host countries but, in the case of returning migrants, also to their countries of origin: often local officials, who help to facilitate return migration, are treated as traitors for collaborating with industrialised countries.149

Local authorities are also criticised for not deliver­ing on the expectations of their cities’ international involvement, e.g. for not being in a position to pro­vide their citizens with legal pathways for migration. This also applies if the authorities are unable to attract additional funding to create more employment opportunities. Moreover, local electorates often do not see their city council’s involvement in inter­national migration policy as a priority. On the con­trary: local voters usually expect their city adminis­tration to concentrate on issues within its jurisdiction rather than support lengthy and non-transparent politi­cal processes at the international level.

In general, the involvement of mayors in migra­tion, asylum, and integration policy is accompanied by political risks, especially where the domestic politi­cal debate is heavily polarised. The openness of cities can cause conflicts, in particular where residents feel threatened or economically sidelined.150 Cities need to develop communication strategies to minimise this risk and explain how they intend to solve challenges linked to forced displacement and migration; ex­change as part of city networks can contribute. Ulti­mately mayors must be in a position to justify their inter­national involvement in city networks and to quantify for their electorate the added value this involvement brings.

Cities have to develop evidence-based communications strategies and explain why diversity is advan­tageous for their citizens. They should provide suf­fi­cient public spaces and events that offer opportunities to meet; they should have participatory urban planning and training for council workers in terms of integration, human-rights protection, and inter­cultural mediation; and they should involve new arrivals in these.151 Civil-society organisations, the private sector, and academia should be included in urban development, which is certainly not the case in Africa.152 Exchange between African and European cities can be helpful here too.153 The Covid-19 pan­demic has highlighted that cities also need to con­sider migrants and refugees in delivering health care.154

In sum, there are multiple obstacles to cities’ in­volve­ment. Not all cities are impacted by these to the same extent. It stands to reason that cities in the Global South are more strongly affected by a lack of funding and staff shortages, and that their capacity to act is more restricted due to limited fiscal decentralisation. That is why they are barely visible in this policy area.155 Moreover, the fastest growing African cities (not least due to migration) are secondary cities, which often do not have the capacities that would be required to manage and cope with this growth.156 How­ever, it is also true for European cities that they have no authority concerning migration management and that they are tied to decisions taken at the nation­al level. Nevertheless, there are numerous examples of cities becoming active in migration and asylum policy. Many European cities have identified collabo­ration with local civil-society actors as a way to become involved in migration policy.157 Some African cities, such as Moroccan Tangiers or Sousse in Tuni­sia, also pursue this cooperation, which suggests that this might be changing in some parts of Africa.158

A key factor for cities’ involvement in international asylum and migration policy seems to be individual mayors’ political will to act. The Ugandan capital Kam­pala, or rather its mayor Erias Lukwago, is a mem­ber of the Mayor Migration Council.159 In recent years, the city has also expanded its commitment in asylum and migration policy; since 2018 it has had a strategy for dealing with forced displacement and migration.160 Now its council is hoping for more tar­geted support by international (humanitarian) actors.161 The mayor of the Sierra-Leonean capital Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, is also a prominent representative of cities that are active on migration policy, being co-founder of the Mayors Migration Council and a mem­ber of the Leadership Board. In Europe, the mayors of Bristol (United Kingdom) and Milan (Italy) are often referenced: Marvin Rees and Giuseppe Sala. The powerful role played by these city leaders sug­gests that the commitment of individuals and their political will is decisive in overcoming the hurdles described above.

Conclusions and Recommended Actions

This analysis has shown that cities’ and city networks’ ability to act is limited in practice, but they have poten­tial that could be used and promoted more extensively. Cities and their networks have knowledge and exper­tise in managing tasks related to refugee and migra­tion policy; they can identify exchange partners; and they can offer a framework for sharing experiences. This is true for cooperation within Africa and Europe but also for international networks.162 A number of recommendations can be derived from previous ex­perience for city networks and their financing so as to strengthen cities on issues of forced displacement and migration.

Funding City Networks

As a matter of principle, it is pre-existing city net­works that should be funded since their potential has not yet been realised. The focus here should not only be on larger cities; smaller and medium-sized cities should also be enabled to participate in networks, especially by funding staff, travel, and conference expenses. Second-tier African cities will in due course also be impacted even more by refugees and mi­grants, and will therefore need special support, for instance via exchange with other cities.

Different emphases are apparent in the partici­pation of cities and their networks in multilateral processes thus far. African cities have shown an interest primarily in urban development, seeking help with financial and administrative capacity-building in particular. European cities often have more explicitly migration and integration-related concerns. They want suggestions for solving these, and they champion – sometimes in direct contra­diction to their national governments – hosting and protecting refugees, and migrants’ rights (for in­stance as part of Solidarity Cities). Supporting inter­continental city networks could help to identify inter­faces between these interests as well as practical approaches for African-European cooperation. The German government and the European Union could facilitate this.

Within funding for cities and city networks, two spheres of activity should be given greater attention which have thus far not been prominent: one, vol­un­tary or forcible returns to countries of origin; two, the involvement of diasporas. For cities, dealing with returnees is often a particularly difficult task. From the perspective of many governments, return is a vital component of their policy on forced displacement and migration; according to UNHCR, return is one of the so-called durable solutions for refugees. For all cases of voluntary or forcible return, cities are the first ports of call in the country of origin. Returnees are usually urgently dependent on cities to deliver basic public services. It is therefore striking that cities and city networks have not yet systematically made return a topic of cooperation, despite their increasing involvement in issues of forced displacement and migra­tion. One reason might be that, from the point of view of many city councils, supporting returnees from the Global North concerns only a relatively small group of people with special requirements, and is therefore not seen as a priority. Moreover, col­labora­tion with the countries from which they have returned is often very unpopular in their countries of origin.163 Governments and the cities concerned presumably prefer not to attract public attention to returnees. Yet cities are also the first port of call in cases of South-to-South return. The needs resulting from this are normally less controversial politically speaking. City networks should therefore consider giving a platform to cities that are interested in ex­changing on this matter.

Another topic that has so far not played a big role in exchanges between cities and city networks is the involvement of diaspora organisations. Despite the fact that, in cities especially, forcibly displaced per­sons and migrants join local organisations that rep­resent cultural, linguistic or religious concerns relevant to their country of origin, the opportunities and risk of diaspora involvement have so far not been systematically debated. This is even more conspicuous since certain nationalities are particularly concen­trated in certain regions or cities, where they are active via their organisations and associations. Their knowledge, connections, and commitment could be an important impetus for international cooperation between cities in shaping labour migration, the inte­gration of refugees, and the participation of migrants.

Labour Migration and Skill Partnerships

Many African cities already have to manage a high labour supply and high youth unemployment, and both problems will only increase. Due to strong popu­lation growth, about 20 million young people a year are already crowding the African labour market.164 In many cities, local economic growth and labour demand will not suffice to keep people in adequate employment. Jobseekers, even well-educated ones, can usually only obtain work in the informal sec­tor – without rights, without social security in case of illness or loss of employment, and often under precarious working conditions. By contrast, many European cities are registering labour shortages in important sectors of the economy, especially in medical services and the care sector, but also in house­hold services with low qualification requirements. This labour demand will continue to rise due to Europe’s shrinking and ageing population.

There is a role for cities here. If African cities – which are interested in better employment opportunities for their citizens abroad – were systematically included in shaping African-European labour migra­tion, then they could be involved in a meaningful exchange with European cities that have specific labour needs. With the relevant support, cities could play a greater role in drawing up migration pro­grammes and thus set priorities that could help them to address their labour-market problems.

Skill partnerships are a particularly promising area. So far, only a few pilot projects exist, which have been conceived almost exclusively at the national level without the inclusion of local officials. A systematic exchange between interested cities, as well as between them and their national governments, could produce vital information on how to build such partnerships, for instance for identifying training areas and components or developing cur­ricula. Mayors could also integrate the private sector into these exchanges, especially multinational cor­porations that are present in both African and Euro­pean cities, if these companies are willing to invest in local institutions or use their own training presence for more labour mobility between African and Euro­pean cities. This framework could also be used to discuss models of circular migration.

Diaspora organisations should also be considered. If they are included in the exchange, they can give valuable indications and, where necessary, even help to prepare programmes and integrate the partici­pants. German development cooperation already has experience in funding development-orientated migra­tion, both in the form of CIM programmes (Centre for International Migration and Development) for return­ing skilled labour165 and of “Triple Win” programmes166 for skill partnerships. Cities that are interested should be able to access this knowledge – which presup­poses that cities are integrated into the planning and design of such programmes.

To improve knowledge and data on cities’ interests and problems concerning refugee and migrant policy, it would be sensible to strengthen the IOM’s Global Migra­tion Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), headquartered in Berlin. Whilst continuing to fund it, the German government should push the Centre to expand its data collection and analysis to cities and municipalities.

Refugee Protection: Recognising and Furthering the Involvement of Cities

Many German cities and municipalities are involved in receiving asylum-seekers and refugees and offer to do more. The German government should give this effort greater political recognition and, inter alia, support Solidarity Cities, which operates as part of Eurocities, in receiving forcibly displaced unaccompanied minors and other refugees. The receptiveness shown by member cities suggests a successful and lasting integration of these refugees, especially since civil-society structures can be used.

At the international level, the German government should also fund cities in developing countries and their networks that are active in refugee policy. The BMZ’s development cooperation related to forced dis­placement already operates frequently in cities, but it could still be better targeted towards strengthening cities’ structural ability to act. To this end, existing instruments such as the BMZ’s Sonderinitiative Flucht (Special Initiative on Forced Displacement) should concentrate more precisely on fostering the administrative capacities of cities. This would, however, require a longer-term commitment, as part of which urban-planning instruments could be combined with participatory approaches, for example. This would promote inclusive urban development that benefits not only refugees and migrants but also other poor and marginalised population groups in situ. The participation of women, people with disabilities, the young, and the elderly must also be ensured. The financing of infrastructure projects would be just as necessary for this as special financing instruments for rapidly growing cities. Germany’s development co­operation should support cities with such needs by making development services directly accessible to cities and by enabling cities to plan projects so that commercial financing is possible.

Many cities in developing nations are faced with immense challenges, given rapid urbanisation and the repercussions of climate change. In some cases, these challenges include coping with environmental displacement and migration. In order to be able to act, these cities need sufficient staff and financial resources. Solutions such as the City Climate Finance Gap Fund could serve as models here. The Fund pro­vides technical support for developing climate-adapted strategies and projects, and accessing financing.167

Area-based approaches have become good practice in the German Federal Foreign Office’s (AA) humanitarian assistance. This entails the inclusion of all who live in the area concerned, independently of their migration status or vulnerability, and the fund­ing especially of local governments and organisations. In coordination with the BMZ, city councils within developing countries can thus be targeted for extra sup­port. Given the great need of resources that cities in developing countries have, and their direct respon­sibility for basic services, it would be sensible in many cases to support decentralisation processes, including fiscal ones. Since these processes are heavily politicised in many countries, this will necessitate long-term reform efforts. Nevertheless, any prospects of decentralisation should be realised. The international debate offers German mayors a chance to share their experience.

Integration and Participation: City Diplomacy, Exchange, and Political Participation

When funding city networks, the German govern­ment should ensure that the expertise built in managing challenges in forced displacement and migration remains lastingly in place. One objective could be to offer expertise and perhaps also administrative experts at short notice to support cities with urgent needs. Cooperation with associations such as UCLG Africa would lend itself to this.

Furthermore, the German government could sup­port the lobbying of networks specialising in forced displacement and migration issues, such as the Mayors Migration Council. It would also be sensible to support regional exchange formats. An example is the “Peer-to-Peer Learning Workshop: Strengthening Social Cohesion in Municipalities Hosting Refugees” organ­ised by the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) in 2016, with support from German development co­operation, which was aimed at Turkish, Lebanese, and Jordanian communities hosting Syrian refugees.168

The German Foreign Office has also recognised the importance of cities in the international political arena and has established a department that, along­side climate and environmental policy, is responsible for city diplomacy.169 In this context, the Foreign Office should campaign for city officials to be regu­larly involved in regional or multilateral processes linked to forced displacement and migration, such as the Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees or the GFMD, possibly by being included in the respec­tive national delegation.

As part of this process, the networks should be en­couraged to tackle challenges in forced displacement and migration policy comprehensively, and also to address topics such as representation, participation, and gender equality. The importance of inclusive approaches was shown by the most recent GFMD sum­mits, during which not only cities and munici­palities but also youth representatives gave crucial momentum to governmental exchanges with other actors in forced displacement and migration policy. The networks should also offer refugees and migrants the opportunity to participate and more closely inte­grate representatives from civil society and academia. This would not only guarantee better solutions but also further legitimate the participation of cities in global exchange processes.

A key issue when supporting cities and networks should be the political participation of the cities’ resi­dents, including refugees and migrants. All city-related measures on forced displacement and migra­tion should ensure participation and integration. The BMZ needs to be mindful when financially and tech­nically supporting city networks that all those affect­ed are widely represented, and foster an exchange of cities and municipalities about the political partici­pation of those without citizenship. This can bolster sustainable urban development and pre-empt popu­list smear campaigns.

Finally, diaspora organisations should be included in the exchanges between cities. At the municipal level in particular, new avenues for political partici­pation could thus be trialled, along the lines of EU citizens’ active and passive electoral rights within municipalities. Not only but especially in the Global South, this means that city councils and the inter­national community must find new ways of dealing with informality. Since refugees and migrants are often particularly dependent on the informal sector when seeking work or housing, that sector should not be combated but rather taken into account – for example precisely by involving refugees and migrants as residents of informal settlements.



German Federal Foreign Office


African, Caribbean, and Pacific States


Association Internationale des Maires Francophones


African Union


German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety


German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development


Council of European Municipalities and Regions


Centre for International Migration and Development


Commonwealth Local Government Forum


Centre for Mediterranean Integration


European Council of the Regions


Economic and Social Council of the United Nations


European Union


Statistical Office of the European Union


EU Trust Fund for Africa


Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz (Skilled Workers Immigration Law)


EU Global Approach to Migration and Mobility


Gross domestic product


Global Forum on Migration and Development


Global Migration Data Analysis Centre


International Centre for Migration Policy Development


Information and Communications Technology


Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre


International Organisation for Migration


Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project


Mayors Migration Council


Migration Policy Framework for Africa


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Regional Economic Community


Sustainable Development Goals


United Cities and Local Governments


United Nations


United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

UN Habitat

United Nations Centre for Human Settlements


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees



 Elena De Nictolis, “Cities in the EU-Africa Relations”, in: Africa-Europe Relationships. A Multistakeholder Perspective, World Politics and Dialogues of Civilizations, ed. Raffaele Marchetti (Abingdon, Oxon, and New York, 2020), 169–85 (169), doi: 10.4324/9781003030621-16.


 Saskia Sassen, The Global City (New York, London and Tokyo: Princeton University Press, 1991); Boris Michel, “Saskia Sassen: The Global City”, in Schlüsselwerke der Stadt­forschung, ed. Frank Eckardt (Wiesbaden, 2016), 31–45, doi: 10.1007/978-3-658-10438-2_3.


 Nictolis, “Cities in the EU-Africa Relations” (see note 1), 172.


 United Nations Economic and Social Council, Sustainable Cities, Human Mobility and International Migration. Report of the Secretary-General, E/CN.9/2018/2, 26 January 2018, 4.


 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, The World’s Cities in 2018. Data Booklet, 2, https://www.un.org/en/events/citiesday/assets/pdf/ the_worlds_cities_in_2018_data_booklet.pdf (accessed 14 December 2020).


 United Nations Economic and Social Council, Sustainable Cities (see note 4), 4.


 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, The World’s Cities in 2018 (see note 5), 7.


 Eurostat, “Population Projections”, 14 December 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-datasets/product? code=tps00002 (accessed 14 December 2020).


 European Parliament, Demographic Outlook for the European Union 2019 (May 2019), 17, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/ RegData/etudes/IDAN/2019/637955/EPRS_IDA(2019)637955_ EN.pdf (accessed 3 November 2020).


 International Organisation for Migration (IOM), World Migration Report 2015. Migrants and Cities: New Partnerships to Manage Mobility (Geneva, 2015), 39.


 United Nations, World Population Prospects. 2015 Revision. Data Booklet (2015), 12, https://population.un.org/wpp/ Publications/Files/WPP2015_DataBooklet.pdf (accessed 11 March 2021).


 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Africa’s Urbanisation Dynamics 2020 (Paris, 2020), p. 14, doi: 10.1787/b6bccb81-en.


 Corrado Fumagalli and Katja Schaefer, “Migration and Urbanization in Africa”, in African Migration Report: Challeng­ing the Narrative, ed. IOM (Addis Ababa, 2020), 41–51 (42), https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/africa-migration-report.pdf (accessed 8 June 2021). Thus in Harare (Zimbabwe) and Maputo (Mozambique), for example, over 30 percent of building plots within a five-kilometre radius from the cen­tral business district remain undeveloped. In the capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, half of the urban population lives three or more people to a room.


 Sarah Rosengaertner, Mayors Dialogue on Growth and Soli­darity. Reimagining Human Mobility in Africa and Europe, Fram­ing paper, (London: Overseas Development Institute [ODI], October 2020), 5, https://odi.org/en/publications/mayors-dialogue-on-growth-and-solidarity-framing-paper/ (accessed 29 October 2020).


 EU Trust Fund for Africa (Horn of Africa Window) Research and Evidence Facility, The Lure of the City. Synthesis Report on Rural to Urban Migration in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, 68f., https://www.soas.ac.uk/ref-hornresearch/research-papers/ file128760.pdf (accessed 26 August 2020); Fumagalli/Schae­fer, “Migration and Urbanization in Africa” (see note 13), 44.


 African Migration Report, ed. IOM (see note 13), 46.


 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Global Trends. Forced Displacement in 2017 (Geneva, 25 June 2018), 60, https://www.unhcr.org/5b27be547.pdf (accessed 1 March 2021).


 UNHCR, Global Trends. Forced Displacement in 2020 (Geneva, 18 June 2021), 27, https://www.unhcr.org/ 60b638e37.pdf#zoom=95 (accessed 1 March 2021).


 Zara Sarzin, Stocktaking of Global Forced Displacement Data, Policy Research Working Paper, vol. 7985 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, February 2017), 26, doi: 10.1596/1813-9450-7985.


 German Bundestag, Research Services, Demografische Entwicklungen auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent, Dokumentation WD 2-3000-059/19 (Berlin, June 2019), 12, https://www. bundestag.de/resource/blob/652762/59fd3bfc3f1ea61b9d2b970e5cba5b84/WD-2-059-19-pdf-data.pdf (accessed 17 Novem­ber 2020).


 IOM, World Migration Report 2020 (Geneva, 2019), 24, https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/wmr_2020.pdf.


 Fumagalli and Schaefer, “Migration and Urbanization in Africa” (see note 13), 16.


 Maureen Achieng and Amira El Fadil, “What Is Wrong with the Narrative on African Migration?”, in African Migration Report, ed. IOM (see note 13), 1–13 (1).


 Béla Hovy, Frank Laczko and Rene N’Guettia Kouassi, “African Migration: An Overview of Key Trends”, in African Migration Report, ed. IOM (see note 13), 15–24 (18).


 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Africa Report on Internal Displacement, (Geneva, December 2019), 8, https://www.internal-displacement.org/sites/default/files/ publications/documents/201912-Africa-report.pdf (accessed 26 November 2020).


 Julia Black, “The Data Question: The Challenge of Measuring Irregular Migration in Africa”, in African Migration Report, ed. IOM (see note 13), 27–38 (33).


 Elisa Mosler Vidal, Emma Borgnäs and Marzia Rango, African Migration to the EU: Irregular Migration in Context, GMDAC Briefing Series: Towards safer migration on the Central Mediterranean Route (IOM: Geneva, 2019), 4f., https://gmdac.iom.int/sites/gmdac/files/03_-_residence_ permits-bbb.pdf (accessed 20 November 2020); Manuel Bewarder and Christoph B. Schiltz, “Illegale Migration nach Deutschland wird offenbar unterschätzt”, Welt (online), 20 October 2018, https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/ article182395050/Asylbewerber-Illegale-Migration-nach-Deutschland-wird-offenbar-unterschaetzt.html (accessed 3 June 2021). The actual extent of undiscovered irregular immigration cannot be calculated. The German Interior Ministry has declared that reliable statements on this ques­tion are “not seriously possible”.


 Black, “The Data Question” (see note 26), 34f.


 Hovy et al., “African Migration” (see note 24), 16.


 Jesper Bjarnesen, Shifting the Narrative on African Migration. The Numbers, the Root Causes, the Alternatives – Get Them Right! (Uppsala, February 2020), 4, https://nai.uu.se/download/ 18.a830d416fee1c2549339e3/1581412859413/NAI%20Policy%20Notes%202019%201_Migration_Jesper%20Bjarnesen_ Final%20version.pdf (accessed 20 November 2020).


 Black, “The Data Question” (see note 26), 34.


 Hovy et al., “African Migration” (see note 24), 17.


 Eurostat, “All Valid Permits by Reason, Length of Validity, and Citizenship on 31 December of Each Year” (Brussels, 2020), https://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/ show.do?dataset=migr_resvalid&lang=en (accessed 3 Novem­ber 2020).


 European Council, “European Council Directive 2003/86/EC of 22 September 2003 on the right to family reunification, 3 October 2003”, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/ legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A32003L0086.


 See Myria Federal Migration Centre, “Where to Apply and What Documents to Provide?” (Brussels, 2020), https:// www.myria.be/en/fundamental-rights/family-reunification/ child-entry/chapter-2 (accessed 29 October 2020); European Migration Network, EMN Annual Report on Migration and Asylum 2017 Sweden. Report from EMN Sweden 2018 (Norrköping: Swe­dish Migration Agency, 2018), 28, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/default/files/17a_sweden_arm_part2_2017_en_0. pdf (accessed 14 July 2021).


 See United Kingdom Government, “UK Ancestry Visa” (London, 2020), https://www.gov.uk/ancestry-visa (accessed 29 October 2020); SVR-Research Unit/Migration Policy Insti­tute, Legale Wege nach Europa. Arbeits- und Ausbildungsmöglich­keiten für Personen ohne Schutzperspektive (Berlin: Migration Policy Institute/Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR), 2019), 38, https://www.svr-migration.de/publikationen/ mobilitaetsoptionen_nach_europa/ (accessed 29 October 2020); Spanish Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, “Spanish Nationality” (Madrid, 2020), http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/en/Servicios AlCiudadano/InformacionParaExtranjeros/Paginas/Nacio nalidad.aspx (accessed 29 October 2020).


 Authors’ own data compilation based on: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Popu­lation Division, “International Migrant Stock 2019” (New York, 2020), https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/ population/migration/data/estimates2/estimates19.asp (accessed 15 January 2020). The (EU-28) countries are – in descending order – the UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Ger­many, Portugal, and Sweden.


 A distinction also needs to be made between a general wish to migrate and actual migration. Gallup polls for 2010–2015 show that 24 to 30 percent of those polled aged over 15 have a general wish to migrate but that only one percent actually begin preparations. Over that same period, an average of 1.3 million Africans (0.12 of Africa’s popula­tion) migrated per year. See EU Commission, Many More to Come? Migration from and within Africa (Luxembourg, 2018), 17, https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/ JRC110703/africa_policy_report_2018_final_1.pdf (accessed 4 June 2021).


 Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Afri­can Migration to Europe: How Can Adequate Data Help Improve Evidence-based Policymaking and Reduce Possible Misconceptions? Data Briefing Series, no. 11 (Geneva, November 2017), 1, https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/gmdac_data_ briefing_series_issue_11.pdf (accessed 19 November 2020).


 European Commission, Communication from the Commis­sion to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Coun­cil: Managing the Refugees Crisis: Immediate Operational, Budgetary and Legal Measures under the European Agenda on Migration, COM(2015) 490 final (Brussels, 23 September 2015).


 European Council, Valletta Summit, 11–12 November 2015: Action Plan (Valletta, 2015), https://www.consilium.europa.eu/ media/21839/action_plan_en.pdf (accessed 27 October 2020).


 Organisation of African Unity, Treaty Establishing the Afri­can Economic Community (Abuja, Nigeria, 3 June 1991), https:// au.int/sites/default/files/treaties/37636-treaty-0016_-_treaty_ establishing_the_african_economic_community_e.pdf (accessed 11 March 2021).


 African Union Commission, Agenda 2063. The Africa We Want (September 2015), https://au.int/sites/default/files/ documents/36204-doc-agenda2063_popular_version_en.pdf (accessed 8 June 2021); for an assessment, see also: Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR), Gemeinsam gestalten: Migration aus Afrika nach Europa. Jahresgutachten 2020 (Berlin, 2020), https://www.svr-migration.de/wp-content/ uploads/2020/04/SVR_Jahres gutachten_2020-1.pdf (accessed 11 March 2021).


 For an overview: Marta Bociek, Mareike Grewe and Ulrike Zühlke, Migrations- und Entwicklungspolitik gegenüber afrikanischen Herkunfts-, Transit- und Aufnahmeländern (Berlin: Der Paritätische Gesamtverband, December 2019), https:// www.der-paritaetische.de/fileadmin/user_upload/ Publikationen/doc/Paritaetischer_Gesamtverband_Dossier_ Migrations-_und_Entwicklungspolitik_Afrika__Fassung_ 2019.pdf (accessed 11 March 2021).


 For a critical view: Amnesty International, Positions­papier: Menschenrechtsrisiken und Menschenrechtsstandards bei Migrationskooperationen der EU mit afrikanischen Staaten (Berlin, September 2019), https://www.amnesty.de/sites/default/ files/2019-09/Positionspapier-Migrationskooperationen-EU-AFRIKA-2019.pdf (accessed 11 March 2021).


 The African Union has added a free movement protocol to the Treaty on the African Economic Community (2018). Its ratification is proceeding slowly, but it is supported by the organisation United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), see UCLG Africa, “UCLG Africa Invites Local and Regional Authorities to Support OOAM’s Advocacy for the Ratification of the AU Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons” (8 October 2019), https://www.uclga.org/news/uclg-africa-invites-local-and-regional-authorities-to-support-ooams-advocacy-for-the-ratification-of-the-au-protocol-on-the-free-movement-of-persons/ (accessed 3 June 2021). The increasing importance of regional mobility was also at the heart of the third Africa Resilience Forum 2019, see African Development Bank, Africa Resilience Forum 2019. Fragility, Migration and Resilience (Abidjan, March 2019), https://www. afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Generic-Documents/ARF_CONCEPT_NOTE_2019.pdf (accessed 4 June 2021).


 Steffen Angenendt, Migration, Mobilität und Entwicklung. EU-Mobilitätspartnerschaften als Instrument der Entwicklungs­zusammenarbeit, SWP-Studie 25/2012 (Berlin: Stiftung Wissen­schaft und Politik, November 2012), https://www.swp-berlin. org/publikation/eu-mobilitaetspartnerschaften/ (accessed 11 March 2021).


 EU Commission, The Future of Cities. Opportunities, Chal­lenges and the Way Forward (Luxembourg, 2019), 116ff., https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/ JRC116711/the-future-of-cities_online.pdf (accessed 6 August 2020); Howard Duncan and Ioana Popp, “Migrants and Cities: Stepping beyond World Migration Report 2015”, in World Migration Report 2018, ed. IOM (Geneva, 2017), 1–23 (3f.), https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/country/docs/ china/r5_world_migration_report_2018_en.pdf (accessed 6 August 2020); Robert Muggah and Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Refugees and the City. The Twenty-first-century Front Line, Research Paper, no. 2 (Waterloo, Canada, July 2018), 1, https://www. cigionline.org/sites/default/files/documents/WRC%20Research%20Paper%20no.2.pdf (accessed 10 September 2019).


 EU Commission, The Future of Cities (see note 48), 120.


 Emilia Saiz, “We Need to Rethink the Global Govern­ance Model in Order to Build a Future for Our Communi­ties”, in: Rethinking the Ecosystem of International City Networks. Challenges and Opportunities, Monografías CIDOB, vol. 72, coord. Agustí Fernández de Losada and Hannah Abdullah (Barcelona: CIDOB Edicions, 2019), 59–61 (59).


 Agustí Fernández de Losada, “Towards a Cooperative Ecosystem of City Networks”, in Rethinking the Ecosystem, coord. de Losada and Abdullah (see note 50), 19–29 (19).


 Juliana Kerr, “Cities Shaping Migration Policy”, in Cities in World Politics. Local Responses to Global Challenges, Monografías CIDOB, vol. 75, ed. Hannah Abdullah (Barcelona: CIDOB Edicions, 2019), 45–54 (45).


 Nictolis, “Cities in the EU-Africa Relations” (see note 1), 175.


 De Losada, “Towards a Cooperative Ecosystem of City Networks” (see note 51), 19.


 IOM, World Migration Report 2018 (see note 48), 225ff.


 IOM, World Migration Report 2015 (see note 10), 76f., 90f.


 Kerr, “Cities Shaping Migration Policy” (see note 52), 45.


 IOM, World Migration Report 2015 (see note 10), 175.


 Kerr, “Cities Shaping Migration Policy” (see note 52), 45.


 Michele Acuto, Hugo Decramer, Juliana Kerr, Ian Klaus, Sam Tabory, and Noah J. Toly, Toward City Diplomacy. Assessing Capacity in Select Global Cities (Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 7 July 2018), 4.


 IOM, World Migration Report 2018 (see note 48), 2.


 Colleen Thouez, “Cities as Emergent International Actors in the Field of Migration”, Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations 26, no. 4 (2020): 650–72 (659ff.).


 Kerr, “Cities Shaping Migration Policy” (see note 52), 50.


 Global Parliament of Mayors, Global Parliament of Mayors Annual Summit 2018 Declaration (23 October 2018), 1, https:// globalparliamentofmayors.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/ Bristol-Declaration-2018.pdf (accessed 7 December 2020).


 UNHCR, “High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges, 2018. Protection and Solutions in Urban Settings: Engaging with Cities” (2020), https://www.unhcr. org/high-commissioners-dialogue-on-protection-challenges-2018.html (accessed 7 December 2020).


 Mayors Mechanism, Background Paper Theme 3: Addressing Human Mobility as Part of Urban and Rural Development Strategies. Roundtable Session 3.1: Supporting Arrival Cities through Policy Coherence and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (2020), 2, https:// static1.squarespace.com/static/5ed73065798a4a61dd968312/t/5f6afa6c318e0b5c5351fbd4/1600846447391/final_gfmd_2019_ rt_session_3.1_background_paper.pdf (accessed 3 June 2021).


 Black, “The Data Question” (see note 26), 30; Karen Jacobsen, “Risky Cities, Mean Streets”, in Mixed Migration Review 2020. Mixed Migration and Cities (Geneva: Mixed Migra­tion Centre, 2020), 178–83 (180), http://www.mixed migration.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Mixed-Migration-Review-2020.pdf (accessed 24 November 2020).


 Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues and Jesper Bjarnesen, Intra-African Migration: Structures and Infrastructures for Continued Circulation (Brussels: European Union, Policy Department, Directorate-General for External Policies, 2020), 7, doi: 10.2861/911977.


 See Yéhiya Dicko and Jessamy Garver-Affeldt, Urban Mixed Migration. Bamako Case Study, MMC Briefing Paper (Geneva: Mixed Migration Centre, November 2020), https:// mixedmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/146_ urban_case_study_Bamako.pdf (accessed 28 June 2021).


 Tsion K. Abebe and John Mugabo, “Chapter 12. Migra­tion and Security in Africa: Implications for the Free Move­ment of Persons Agenda”, in African Migration Report, ed. IOM (see note 13), 145–54 (149).


 Achieng and El Fadil, “What Is Wrong with the Narra­tive on African Migration?” (see note 23), 2f.


 Fumagalli and Schaefer, “Migration and Urbanization in Africa” (see note 13), 42.


 See ibid.; Somik V. Lall, J. Vernon Henderson and Anthony J. Venables, Africa’s Cities. Opening Doors to the World (Washington, D.C., 2017), https://openknowledge.worldbank. org/handle/10986/25896 (accessed 3 June 2021).


 IOM, “Global Conference on Cities and Migration Under­way in Belgium”, press release (Mechelen, 17 November 2017), https://www.iom.int/news/global-conference-cities-and-migration-underway-belgium (accessed 4 January 2021).


 Global Conference on Cities and Migration, Mechelen Declaration on Cities and Migration (16 and November 2017), https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/press_release/file/ Mechelen-Declaration-final.pdf (accessed 4 January 2021).


 Joint Migration and Development Initiative, “Intro­duction to the Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migra­tion and Development” (28 September 2016), https://www. opendemocracy.net/en/introduction-to-mayoral-forum-on-human-mobility-migration/ (accessed 5 January 2021).


 5th Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development, “Marrakech Mayors Declaration. Cities Work­ing together for Migrants and Refugees” (Marrakech, 2018), https://www.uclg.org/sites/default/files/marrakech_mayors_ declaration.pdf (accessed 29 October 2020).


 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), “The GFMD Mayors Mechanism”, https://www.gfmd.org/ process/gfmd-mayors-mechanism (accessed 5 January 2021); GFMD Mayors Mechanism, “Our History”, https://www. mayorsmechanism.org/about-us (accessed 5 January 2021); IOM, “Global Mayors Unite in Support of Human Mobility, Migration and Development”, press release (New York, 21 December 2018), https://www.iom.int/news/global-mayors-unite-support-human-mobility-migration-and-development (accessed 5 January 2021).


 International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), “Mediterranean City-to-City Migration (MC2CM)”, https://www.icmpd.org/our-work/projects/mediterranean-city-to-city-migration-mc2cm (accessed 28 June 2021). North Africa: Casablanca, Oujda, Rabat, Sfax, Sousse, Tangiers, Tunis; Middle East: Amman, Beirut, Irbid, Ramallah; Europe: Cádiz, Dortmund, Grenoble, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Naples, Seville, Turin, Vienna.


 Rosengaertner, Mayors Dialogue on Growth and Solidarity (see note 14), 3f.


 European Commission, Action Fiche for the Implementation of the Horn of Africa Window. CRRF: Inclusive Urban Development and Mobility, 10ff., https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/ sites/euetfa/files/bt05-eutf-hoa-reg-67_-_crrf_urban_ development_and_mobility_incl._rider.pdf (accessed 11 December 2020).


 Cities Alliance, “Migration and the Inclusive City. Catalytic Fund Call for Proposals (2015)”, (Brussels, 2020), https://www.citiesalliance.org/how-we-work/our-programmes/ innovation-programme/migration-and-inclusive-city (accessed 8 December 2020).


 Cities Alliance, “Global Programme on Cities and Migra­tion. Resources” (Brussels, 2021), https://www.citiesalliance. org/how-we-work/global-programmes/global-programme-cities-and-migration/resources (accessed 8 June 2021). The cities are Adama and Jijiga in Ethiopia, Kakuma Kalobeyei in Kenya, Arua and Jinja in Uganda, Jendouba and Kairouan in Tunisia, and Amatitlán and San Marcos in Guatemala.


 Cities Alliance, “Global Programme on Cities and Migra­tion. Results” (Brussels, 2020), https://www.citiesalliance.org/ how-we-work/global-programmes/global-programme-cities-and-migration/results (accessed 8 December 2020).


 Eurocities is considered the largest and most important European city network, uniting more than 140 of the con­tinent’s biggest cities as well as more than 45 partner cities, with a total of 130 million citizens in 39 countries. The net­work is dedicated to different realms of city policy, including cultural and environmental issues, urban development, and social policy. The objective of Eurocities is to strengthen the role of municipal government in a multi-level governance structure and to shift the focus of EU legislation so that municipalities can meet strategic challenges at the local level. See Eurocities, http://www.eurocities.eu/ (accessed 27 August 2020).


 European Committee of the Regions, “Cities and Regions for the Integration of Migrants” (Brussels, 2020), https:// cor.europa.eu/en/our-work/Pages/cities-and-regions-for-integration.aspx (accessed 3 November 2020).


 European Commission, “European Website on Integra­tion. Migrant Integration and Good Practice”, Integration Practices (Brussels, 2020), https://ec.europa.eu/migrant-integration/integration-practices (accessed 3 November 2020).


 Integrating Cities, Eurocities Integrating Cities Charter. Our Commitment to Integrating Migrants and Migrant Communities in European Cities (Brussels: Eurocities, 2010), http://www. integratingcities.eu/integrating-cities/charter (accessed 2 November 2020).


 Solidarity Cities, “About” (Brussels, 2020), https:// solidaritycities.eu/about (accessed 1 September 2020).


 Jean-Pierre Malé, “The Emergence of City Alliances and Fronts: Towards New Forms of Local Government Influence?” in Rethinking the Ecosystem, coord. de Losada and Abdullah (see note 50), 31–37 (31); Solidarity Cities, “About” (see note 89).


 IOM, World Migration Report 2018 (see note 48), 229.


 UCLG Africa, “Our Pillars”, https://www.uclga.org/our-pillars/ (accessed 6 August 2020).


 Commonwealth Local Government Forum, https://www. clgf.org.uk/ (accessed 3 November 2020).


 Association Internationale des Maires Francophones, “Qui sommes nous” (Paris), https://aimf.asso.fr/Qui-sommes-nous.html (accessed 7 January 2021).


 Commonwealth Local Government Forum, “Common­wealth Sustainable Cities Network” (London, 2020), https:// www.clgf.org.uk/what-we-do/cities-network/ (accessed 3 November 2020); Association Internationale des Maires Francophones, L’AIMF ses valeurs en ville. Le Bilan 2018 (Paris: Association Internationale des Maires Francophones, 2019), https://www.aimf.asso.fr/IMG/pdf/bilan_2018.pdf (accessed 3 November 2020).


 Mayors Migration Council, https://www.mayors migrationcouncil.org/ (accessed 14 December 2020).


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 African Union Commission, Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want (Addis Ababa, 2015), 2f., https://www.un.org/en/africa/ osaa/pdf/au/agenda2063.pdf (accessed 27 October 2020).


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 Michael A. Clemens and Kate Gough, A Tool to Implement the Global Compact for Migration: Ten Key Steps for Building Global Skill Partnerships, CGD Brief (Washington, D.C.: Center for Glo­bal Development [CGD], 2018), https://www.cgdev.org/sites/ default/files/tool-implement-global-compact-migration-ten-key-steps-building-global-skill-partnerships.pdf (accessed 27 October 2020).


 Mobility Partnership Facility 2021, Completed Action: MENTOR Mediterranean Network for Training Orientation to Regu­lar Migration, https://mobilitypartnershipfacility.eu/what-we-do/ actions-pilot-projects/mentor-mediterranean-network-for-train ing-orientation-to-regular-migration (accessed 29 June 2021).


 OECD, Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees (Paris: OECD Publishing, 2018), https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/working-together-for-local-integration-of-migrants-and-refugees_9789264085 350-en (accessed 27 October 2020).


 Michele Acuto and Steve Rayner, “City Networks: Breaking Gridlocks or Forging (New) Lock-ins?” International Affairs 72, no. 5 (2016): 1147–66 (1148).


 See de Losada, “Towards a Cooperative Ecosystem of City Networks” (see note 51), 21. The first international city network, the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), was founded in 1913.


 Ibid., 20.


 Acuto and Rayner, “City Networks” (see note 104).


 Acuto et al., Toward City Diplomacy (see note 60), 3.


 Union of the Baltic Cities, “UBC – Home”, Gdańsk, https://www.ubc.net/ (accessed 1 March 2021).


 MedCities, http://www.medcities.org/en/ (accessed 27 August 2020).


 De Losada, “Towards a Cooperative Ecosystem of City Networks” (see note 51), 21ff.


 Maruxa Cardama, “The Emergence of New City Platforms on the International Stage: The Imperative of Reconfiguring the Ecosystem of Networks”, in Rethinking the Eco­system, coord. de Losada and Abdullah (see note 50), 49–56 (52).


 Acuto et al., Toward City Diplomacy (see note 60), 8.


 Ibid., 9f.


 Malé, “The Emergence of City Alliances and Fronts” (see note 90), 36.


 Octavi de la Varga Mas, “Entangled: A Reflection on the Current State of the Ecosystem of Local Government Net­works”, in Rethinking the Ecosystem, coord. de Losada and Abdullah (see note 50), 85–88 (86).


 De Losada, “Towards a Cooperative Ecosystem of City Networks” (see note 51), 19f.


 Giovanni Allegretti, “Cities, Citizens and Demodiver­sity: An Overview of Two Generations of City Networks”, in Rethinking the Ecosystem, coord. de Losada and Abdullah (see note 50), 39–48 (44).


 De la Varga Mas, “Entangled” (see note 116), 86.


 Allegretti, “Cities, Citizens and Demodiversity” (see note 118), 44.


 François Menguelé, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa – Chal­lenges for Development Cooperation (DC). Public Hearing in the Ger­man Bundestag (Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development), Ausschussdrucksache, no. 19(19)404f. (Berlin: Ausschuss für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwick­lung, Öffentliche Anhörung, 16 December 2020), 5, https:// www.bundestag.de/resource/blob/812940/03b6a398ba29bd7baa4fabcd188f4a4c/stellungnahme-francois-menguele-data. pdf (accessed 21 January 2021).


 Astrid Ley, Themenblock A: Prognosen und Instrumente der Gestaltung der Urbanisierung: Stellungnahme für den AWZ, Berlin: Ausschuss für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwick­lung, Ausschussdrucksache, no. 19(19)404b 16 (December 2020), 12, https://www.bundestag.de/resource/blob/812722/ e434885affa1ee345ee6f28ed7af9714/stellungnahme-prof-dr-astrid-ley-data.pdf (accessed 21 January 2021); Edgar Pieterse, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa – Challenges for Development Co­operation. Public Hearing in the German Bundestag, Ausschuss­drucksache, no. 19(19)404e (Berlin: Ausschuss für wirtschaft­liche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, 16 December 2020), 2, https://www.bundestag.de/resource/blob/812728/ 2106943891ee1be2aec8efb6f10dc275/stellungnahme-prof-dr-edgar-pieterse-data.pdf (accessed 21 January 2021).


 Ley, Themenblock A (see note 122), 12.


 City Climate Finance Gap Fund, “Turn Resilient Low-carbon Ideas into Strategies and Finance-ready Projects”, 2020, https://www.citygapfund.org/ (accessed 4 February 2021).


 C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF), “Developing Projects to Address Climate Change in Cities”, https://www.c40cff. org/ (accessed 1 March 2021).


 Pieterse, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 122), 2; Martin Dirr, Stellungnahme zu Themenblock A. Prognosen und Instrumente der Gestaltung der Urbanisierung, Ausschuss­drucksache, no. 19(19)404a (Berlin: Ausschuss für wirtschaft­liche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, 16 December 2020), 7, https://www.bundestag.de/resource/blob/812720/ 67a25b67c4dce13ed84b65c46801aa9e/stellungnahme-martin-dirr-data.pdf (accessed 21 January 2021).


 OECD, “Multi-level Governance for Inclusive Cities”, in: CMI, GFMD, IOM, MMC, OECD, UCLG, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UN-Habitat, UNICEF and WHO, Local Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees. A Gateway to Existing Ideas, Resources and Capacities for Cities across the World (2020), 10–14 (14), https://unhabitat.org/ sites/default/files/2021/01/local_inclusion_multipartner_ guidance_.pdf (accessed 25 January 2021).


 Nadine Biehler and David Kipp, Alternatives to Refugee Camps. Cities Need International Support for Receiving Forcibly Displaced People, SWP Comment 2019/C 49 (Berlin: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, December 2019), 3, https://www. swp-berlin.org/publikation/alternatives-to-refugee-camps (accessed 8 June 2021); Loren Landau, “Introductory Com­mentary. Cities as Key Players and Agents of Change”, in Local Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees (see note 127), 1–3 (3).


 UN Habitat, “Urban and Territorial Planning for In­clusive Cities: Enhancing Quality of Life for Migrants and Host Communities in Urban Areas”, in Local Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees (see note 127), 16–22 (16).


 Ley, Themenblock A (see note 122), 1.


 Pieterse, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 122), 2.


 Ley, Themenblock A (see note 122), 2; Dirr, Stellungnahme zu Themenblock A (see note 126), 4.




 Ibid., 2.


 Pieterse, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 122), 2.


 Menguelé, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 121), 4.


 Janina Stürner, Eine neue Rolle für Städte in globaler und regionaler Migrationsgovernance? Policy Paper (Stuttgart: Robert Bosch Stiftung, 2020), 42, https://www.bosch-stiftung.de/ sites/default/files/publications/pdf/2020-09/Studie_Staedte_ Migration_2020.pdf (accessed 8 June 2021).


 GFMD, Background Paper: Theme 3 – Addressing Human Mobility as Part of Urban and Rural Development Strategies. Round­table Session 3.1: Supporting Arrival Cities through Policy Coherence and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (Quito, 2019), 8.


 Dirr, Stellungnahme zu Themenblock A (see note 126), 7.


 UN-Habitat, “Urban and Territorial Planning for In­clusive Cities” (see note 129), 17.


 Menguelé, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 121), 8; Ley, Themenblock A (see note 122), 1.


 Tinashe C. Chigwata and Melissa Ziswa, “Entrenching Decentralisation in Africa: A Review of the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Gov­ernance and Local Development”, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, no. 10 (2018): 295–316 (298).


 Ley, Themenblock A (see note 122), 1.


 Menguelé, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 121), 4.


 Ley, Themenblock A (see note 122), 1, 4.


 Menguelé, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 121), 13.


 Ley, Themenblock A (see note 122), 7.


 Bastian Brandau, Uschi Götz and Ina Rottscheidt, “Lokalpolitiker im Fadenkreuz”, Deutschlandfunk (online), 30 September 2016, https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/hassmails-und-morddrohungen-lokalpolitiker-im-fadenkreuz.724.de. html?dram:article_id=367374 (accessed 10 February 2021).


 See Ilke Adam, Florian Trauner, Leonie Jegen and Chris­tof Roos, “West African Interests in (EU) Migration Policy. Balancing Domestic Priorities with External Incen­tives”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, (2020): 3101–18; Melissa Mouthaan, “Unpacking Domestic Preferences in the Policy-‘receiving’ State: The EU’s Migration Cooperation with Senegal and Ghana”, Comparative Migration Studies 7, no. 35 (2019): 1–20 (10); Judith Altrogge and Franzisca Zanker, “The Return of Migrants from Europe Is Causing Problems for The Gambia”, QuartzAfrica, 21 November 2019, https://qz.com/africa/1751948/returning-migrants-from-europe-cause-problems-for-the-gambia/ (accessed 13 Novem­ber 2020); Franzisca Zanker and Judith Altrogge, “The Politi­cal Influence of Return: From Diaspora to Libyan Transit Returnees”, International Migration 57, no. 4 (2019): 167–80 (177).


 Landau, “Introductory Commentary” (see note 128), 1.


 OECD, “Multi-level Governance for Inclusive Cities” (see note 127), 10, 14; UN-Habitat, “Urban and Territorial Planning for Inclusive Cities” (see note 129), 19f.


 Pieterse, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 122), 2.


 UNESCO, “Mainstreaming Human Rights Principles and Standards in City Agendas for the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees”, in Local Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees (see note 127), 34–38 (37f).


 WHO, “Health and Migration”, in Local Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees (see note 127), 43–45 (45).


 Florian Koch, “Cities as Transnational Climate Change Actors: Applying a Global South Perspective”, Third World Quar­terly, (2020): 1–19 (8).


 GFMD, Background Paper (see note 138), 3.


 ICMPD, City Migration Profiles Synthesis Report. Mediter­ranean City-to-city Migration. Dialogues, Knowledge and Action (MC2CM) (October 2017), 6, https://www.icmpd.org/fileadmin/ 1_2018/MC2CM/MC2CM_Synthesis_Report_EN_Online.pdf (accessed 11 December 2020).


 GFMD, Background Paper (see note 138), 6; ICMPD, City Migration Profiles Synthesis Report (see note 157), 25; UCLG, ICMPD and UN-Habitat, Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Migrant Women in Cities. MC2CM – UCLG-CSIPDHR Working Session (10 September 2020), 12f., https://www.uclg.org/sites/default/ files/mc2cm_dialogue_on_migrant_women_aaff.pdf (accessed 2 June 2021).


 Mayors Migration Council (see note 96).


 Jessica S. Wolff, “A Warmer Welcome – City Planners Preparing for Future Flows”, in Mixed Migration Review 2020 (see note 67).


 Samer Saliba and Innocent Silver, “Cities as Partners: The Case of Kampala”, in Cities and Towns, Forced Migration Review, Issue 63, ed. University of Oxford (February 2020), 41ff.; Mayors Migration Council (see note 96).


 Menguelé, Topic: Urbanisation in Africa (see note 121), 7; Ley, Themenblock A (see note 122), 11.


 Zanker and Altrogge, “The Return of Migrants from Europe” (see note 149), 177.


 Alisa Kaps, Daniel Hegemann, and Catherina Hinz, Wachstum gut, alles gut? Warum Afrikas Wirtschaftswachstum seine demografische Herausforderung nicht löst (Berlin: Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung, November 2020), 9, https://www.berlin-institut.org/fileadmin/Redaktion/ Publikationen/154_Wachstum_gut_alles_gut/BI_Wachstum_gut_alles_gut.pdf (accessed 10 March 2021).


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