In a letter addressed to the commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the President of the Catalan Government expressed his consternation for the situation surrounding the war in Syria and the consequent European migrant crisis. According to Puigdemont, the situation calls for “a resolute, comprehensive and long-term EU response to the challenges of migration”.
The letter, sent earlier this week, revealed the Catalan Government’s intention to accommodate over 4,500 refugees, through cooperation with municipal governments and civil society. Furthermore, the plan would include several initiatives to facilitate the integration of migrants into local communities.
In his message, Carles Puigdemont also made reference the country’s troubled past and explained that Catalonia’s history “is filled of examples” where families were once forced to flee their homes during the Spanish civil war. “Generations of people in Catalonia have experiences of war in their families”, he noted, therefore the issue surrounding the migrant crisis affects the Catalan people intimately. “We simply cannot keep looking at this tragedy without acting”, affirmed the President.
Carles Puigdemont also noted how the Government of Catalonia has maintained active dialogue with other territories to exchange best practices experiences “to ensure a better accommodation policy”. Puigdemont also put the Catalan minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency at the disposal of the Commissioner to advance on the Government’s initiative.
For the President, the EU project “is aimed to better the lives of our citizens and it is based on the respect for the values of solidarity, diversity and democracy”. Moreover, providing a solution for the millions of refugees fleeing from war is not only an international legal duty, but it is also “a moral obligation”, affirmed Puigdemont.