Several countries with little or no resettlement experience have pledged to receive refugees as part of the planned 50,000 due to arrive into Europe during 2018-19, and many experienced resettlement countries have significantly increased their national quotas.

Many countries are adopting mandatory distribution keys to determine placement of refugees across their national territories. Distribution keys are mechanisms used to allocate newly arriving refugees to different cities, towns and municipalities within an individual country. The factors on which distribution keys are based vary from country to country, and might include aspects such as population size, availability of appropriate housing and/or services, and labour market opportunities. Some countries that have pledged to receive refugees need to engage towns and cities not previously involved in national resettlement programmes in order to fulfil their increased quotas. Smaller municipalities will thus have a significant role to play in receiving refugees and ensuring the success of the 50,000 programme and other future schemes.

Smaller municipalities have great potential to contribute to successful integration. The cost of living is lower than that of larger cities, and social networks are stronger and more tight-knit. Smaller communicates also offer safe environments in which families can settle and thrive.

It is crucial that smaller municipalities receive the support and information they need to plan and implement local reception and integration in an effective and positive way.

Follow the links to learn about how SHARE Integration supports smaller municipalities newly engaging in resettlement, by:

·      Developing a new ‘Preparing welcoming communities’ training curriculum, with pilot implementations in 16 municipalities in 8 countries (forthcoming).

·      Conducting comparative research on experiences of settlement and inclusion in smaller European municipalities already engaged in resettlement. Click here to read Another Story from the "Refugee Crisis" in English, and here for the French.