2. October 2019 First working meeting “Cities of Safe Harbours”

26 municipalities reaffirm their offer of “additional reception from humanitarian emergencies in the Mediterranean”. The Federal Government is to create opportunities for local authorities to take in refugees. A total of 26 German municipalities met on 1 October in Rottenburg am Neckar for the first working meeting of the alliance “Cities of Safe Harbours”. Representatives from Berlin, Minden, Krefeld, Cologne, Bielefeld, Rottenburg, Potsdam, Erlangen, […] were present.

26 municipalities reaffirm their offer of “additional reception from humanitarian emergencies in the Mediterranean”.

The Federal Government is to create opportunities for local authorities to take in refugees.

A total of 26 German municipalities met on 1 October 2019 in Rottenburg am Neckar for the first working meeting of the alliance “Cities of Safe Harbours”. Representatives from Berlin, Minden, Krefeld, Cologne, Bielefeld, Rottenburg, Potsdam, Erlangen, Greifswald, Bamberg, Trier, Karlsruhe, Darmstadt, Flensburg, Marburg, Saarbrücken, Bochum, Constance, Ulm, Tuttlingen, Freiburg, Munich, Hamm, Schwäbisch Hall and Würzburg were present.

The SEEBRÜCKE was significantly involved in the formation of this municipal alliance and took part in the meeting. Thanks to the commitment of SEEBRÜCKE, more than 100 cities and municipalities have now declared themselves “Safe Harbours”, 28 of which are also formally involved in the alliance.

“The so-called ‘Malta agreement’ will not end the dying in the Mediterranean and the criminalisation of sea rescue. If the states fail in humanitarian terms, then the change must come from below, from the municipalities. Therefore we welcome the commitment of the cities”, says Anna-Lena Blanke of the SEEBRÜCKE.

“The situation in and around the Mediterranean remains dramatic. Last weekend alone, more than 40 people drowned in the Mediterranean, almost 1000 this year. Every day of waiting costs lives. In particular, we demand that the people detained in the Libyan torture camps be evacuated immediately,” Blanke continued.

The working meeting in Rottenburg adopted a 4-point paper in which the expectation is also formulated to the Federal Government to point out possibilities to the municipalities to realize their offer . In addition “adequate financial and organizational support” is demanded.

“Many municipalities want to take in people rescued from distress at sea or people from the lybian camps. For this, however, they need the approval of the Federal Minister of the Interior, which is usually refused. This has to change so that the local willingness to receive no longer fails because of Seehofer’s blocking attitude,” comments Anna-Lena Blanke.

The SEEBRÜCKE is a broad civil movement which is committed to civil sea rescue, safe escape routes and the permanent reception of refugees in Germany.

For further inquiries:

Anna-Lena Blanke
E-mail: press@seebruecke.org