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Smaller communities are open to take in more refugees

23. November 2020

Ten major Swiss cities have already declared themselves ready to receive refugees from the humanitarian catastrophe in the camps on the Greek islands in recent months, but more and more smaller towns and villages are now also willing to welcome refugees. This increases the pressure on Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter, who is blocking the reception by the cities at federal level. At the same time, the legal conditions for this are already in place.

In a first wave of positive feedback, six cities have publicly declared their willingness to accept refugees and communicated this to the Federal Council:

Wohlen (BE): The Municipality of Wohlen has written to the SEM asking it to significantly step up its assistance to the area, and in particular to facilitate the reception of vulnerable refugees from the burnt-down camp in Moria in view of the humanitarian situation in Lesbos. At the same time, the municipality is offering, within the limits of its possibilities, both financial support for local aid and assistance in the form of accommodation and care in the community.

Sevelen (SG): The municipality of Sevelen is willing to host and care for a family in addition to those already allocated.

Arlesheim (BL): The Municipal Council supports the petitioners’ request and has confirmed its willingness to accept five more people from a camp on a Greek island. The canton has been informed of this readiness.

Baden (AG): The city of Baden is prepared to consider additional admissions if the federal government and the canton create the legal conditions. This has been communicated to the federal government via the City Initiative for Social Policy.

Penthalaz (VD): The municipality of Penthalaz expects Switzerland to provide adequate reception for people from the Greek camps in order to reduce the emergency situation there and declares its readiness to take in families itself.

The city of Lausanne (VD) has once again expressed its willingness to receive people and its efforts to work for a solution at federal level. The city hopes to cooperate with the other host cities.

The appeal to the cities was made in the form of a petition, which may continue to be used to further increase the number of welcoming cities and make them visible.

More information on the petition