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Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Barcelona

image of Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Barcelona

In Barcelona, the rate of foreign residents has quintupled since 2000, and in 2017, 23% of the population was foreign-born. From the late 1990s until today, the municipality has followed an intercultural strategy to implement inclusive measures for local migrant integration. These measures have been recently reinforced to welcome asylum seekers who tripled between 2015 and 2017. For this group, the municipality set up targeted housing and reception policies that complement the national reception system. Migrants have access to municipal measures in key sectors such as housing, minimum living allowances and labour market integration - by the employment service Barcelona Activa - on the same basis as the other residents. Further, Barcelona has developed sensitization initiatives to curb discrimination and improve service delivery in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The municipality has developed local coordination mechanisms with migrant associations and non-governmental organisations that aim to share information, avoid duplication and maximise the access to services such as language classes for migrants. Yet, migrants are particularly affected by socio-economic inequalities particularly following the economic crisis. This report sheds light on how the municipality and non-state partners work together with the other levels of government for sustainable migrant and refugee integration.

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Key data on migrant presence and integration in Barcelona

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain with 1 620 809 inhabitants (2017). It is part of the Metropolitan area of Barcelona (3 226 600 inhabitants) The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona approximately corresponds to a Functional Urban Area according to OECD definition. The OECD definition of functional urban areas uses population density to identify urban cores and travel-to-work flows to identify the hinterlands whose labour market is highly integrated with the cores. The Barcelona FUA is slightly more populous than the Metropolitan Area: 3 846 697 residents in 2014. ; within the province of Barcelona (TL3) (5 533 459 inhabitants) and in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia (TL2) (7 496 276 inhabitants) Territorial Level 2 (TL2) consists of the OECD classification of regions within each member country. There are 335 regions classified at this level across 35 member countries. Territorial Level 3 (TL3) consists of the lower level of classification and is composed of 1 681 small regions. In most cases they correspond to administrative regions..

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