Moving Cities
Inspiring Approaches

MarseilleA new political commitment: “Écouter, rassembler, agir, défendre” (Listen, gather, act, defend)

What is inspiring?

The administration has officially committed itself to improving reception conditions and refugee integration. It won the municipal elections with its election slogan “Listen, gather, act, defend”. Among its most visible steps is the financial, administrative and symbolic support of the SOS Méditerranée association, as part of the city’s open harbour policy.


Solidarity Platform of the City of Marseille ‘Entraidons nous’

Solidarity platform: health and social support

During the municipal council meeting of 23rd November 2020, the city relaunched the Solidarity Platform “Entraidons nous" (Let’s help each other). It was first activated during the first Covid-19 lockdown and has been designed to offer support to population groups that are most in need. The platform is also expected to have an impact on the living conditions of migrants, as the scheme aims to offer the most precarious population groups of the city food aid, donations of clothing, hygiene products or a remote listening platform.

Membership of Solidarity Network ANVITA

A recent municipal council report formalised Marseille’s membership in the ANVITA (Association Nationale des villes et Territoires Accueillants) network. By joining ANVITA, Marseille stands explicitly in favour of the “unconditional” reception of migrants. In doing so, it has also joined in a dialogue on best-practice approaches and on developing a grassroots strategy for the local reception of migrants in France.

Marseille Open Harbour

In cooperation with around thirty other local authorities, the aim is, in the words of former mayor (now first councillor, as of August 2023), Michèle Rubirola, “to give logistical and financial support and personnel to the SOS Mediterranean association”. She has also stated, “This membership is necessary if Marseille is to remain faithful to its history”. A grant of 30,000 euros to SOS Méditerranée is planned for 2021. This follows pressure from civil society, whose main representatives wrote an open letter to the municipality in October 2020, demanding public commitment to the Marseille Open Harbour scheme following the former mayor’s declaration in support of the rescue vessel.

All inspiring approaches