Corina Cretu: "It's our duty to turn the migration challenge into an opportunity"
"We cannot avoid the fact that around 1 million people is already on the EU territory and that most of them are here to stay," EU regional policy commissioner Corina Cretu said in an interview with EUobserver.
The refugee crisis that took Europe by surprise last year has posed many challenges for the EU's asylum system, border management and decision-making.
But it is cities that have borne the brunt of the arrival of more than 1 million people in a single year.
Roughly 70 percent of the European population and 75 percent of the continent's jobs are concentrated in cities. Many of the problems governments have to address – from affordable housing and air quality to energy efficiency and poverty – are also concentrated in cities.
To this list of challenges has been added the short-term welcoming and long-term integration of a massive number of refugees. They have all been included in an Urban Agenda that the European Commission and member states presented recently.