Laia Ortiz, deputy mayor of Barcelona and chair of the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum, writes in EU Observer on why Europe needs to empower its cities to respond to the refugee crisis. As it is, cities cannot directly access EU funding for the reception and integration of refugees. According to Ortiz, this needs to change: “we can’t afford to wait for funding to trickle down through national authorities while refugees are desperately seeking shelter in our cities”.