Joining the Cities of Safe Harbours Alliance

15 February 2021
Joining the Cities of Safe Harbours Alliance

Joining the Cities of Safe Harbours Alliance


The Cities of Safe Harbours Alliance was founded on 14 June 2019 at the Safe Harbour Conference organised by the Seebrücke Initiative. The alliance was founded by 12 municipalities, with a 13th joining during the congress. During the event, the cities once again called on the German government, and in particular the federal interior minister, to promise as soon as possible that municipalities and communities that are willing to accept refugees rescued at sea will indeed be able to do so. The common basis for the alliance is the Potsdam Declaration of 3 June 2019. The representatives of the Safe Harbour Cities alliance urge other municipalities to join the alliance.


Proposal for decision

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." 

(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

The Cities of Safe Harbours consider the reception of people rescued at sea a humanitarian obligation. The lack of agreement on a European distribution mechanism is a cause of shame for Europe. The victims of this impasse are refugees who are housed in camps under inhumane conditions. Our cities should be places of refuge for people seeking help, protection and hope.

Mindful of our humanitarian commitment, we want our combined efforts to give expression to a Europe inspired by solidarity. There are already many cities across Europe willing to host refugees.

The municipal council decides as follows:

  1. City X is committed to its responsibility to help people who have left their homes as a result of war, persecution or other emergencies and seek refuge in the European Union.
  2. City X, like many other cities, supports the Seebrücke – schafft sichere Häfen! initiative from Germany and declares itself a "safe harbour".
  3. City X supports the appeal by the "Cities of Safe Harbours" to take intensive political steps to promote humane treatment, respectful of human rights, of all those seeking protection on the Greek islands, in the Mediterranean, along Europe's borders and in European reception facilities.
  4. City X supports drawing on the preparedness to host refugees at local level as a further way to facilitate asylum for those located along Europe's external borders seeking protection.


The Cities of Safe Harbours should be a symbol for the idea that integration in a modern society can succeed through the interplay of democracy, rule of law and a vibrant culture of openness to the world and tolerance.


If your city wants to join the alliance and sign the decision, please get in touch with