The 2016 World Mayor Prize will be awarded to a mayor who has provided immigrants with the facilities to contribute to the city’s society, economy and culture. The City Mayors Foundation is looking for mayors who have recognised that people, whatever their origin, status or background, are the greatest capital the world has to offer. This year’s World Mayor Project will identify mayors whose cities have done the most to welcome immigrants and have used their skills to enrich and diversify society culturally, economically and socially. Damien Carême, Mayor of Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk, France, has been shortlisted for the Prize. |||

About World Mayor
City Mayors Foundation

• Results 2016
• Project 2016

• Shortlist 2016
• Longlist 2016
• Code of Ethics
• World Mayor Prize
• World Mayor History

• Raison d'être

• Mayor of Athens
• Mayor of Lahr
• Mayor of Mechelen

• Mayor of Aleppo
• Mayor of Amstelveen
• Mayor of Athens
• Mayor of Cologne
• Mayor of Gdansk
• Mayor of Grande-Synthe
• Mayor of Hettstedt
• Mayor of Lahr
• Mayor of Lampedusa
• Mayor of Lesbos
• Mayor of Mechelen
• Mayor of Philadelphia
• Mayor of Schwäbisch Gmünd

• Mayor of Aleppo
• Mayor of Amstelveen
• Mayor of Athens
• Mayor of Gdansk
• Mayor of Lahr
• Mayor of Mechelen
• Mayor of Schwäbisch Gmünd

• Mayor of Amstelveen
• Mayor of Athens
• Mayor of Cologne
• Mayor of Gdansk
• Mayor of Grande-Synthe
• Mayor of Lahr
• Mayor of Lampedusa
• Mayor of Lesbos
• Mayor of Mechelen
• Mayor of Schwäbisch Gmünd








Nominations for
Damien Carême
Mayor of Grande-Synthe (France)

Nominated by Claude L., France:
I fully support the candidacy of Damien Carême. I have had the chance to work with him, directly and see how he supported the energy, environmental and social program that our region, formerly called Nord-Pas de Calais developed in 2013. In 2012, I was in RIO + 20 with him and could appreciate the humanity, the broad mindedness and the vision of Damien. What he has done is amazing: not only his approach for refugees has been unique in our country but he had to fight the French State to get allowance for a decent camp. He's been fighting hard with transparency and full dedication, and at the end he suceeded. Damien is someone that I appreciate as a beautiful human being: this says all.

Nominated by Estelle R., Nantes, France:
I support the Mayor of Grande Synthe Damien Carême for the World Mayor award, as he has showed immense political courage and vision in the opening of the Refugee Camp of la Linière. He is proving that migration issues can be treated with humanity, pragmatism, and in a constructive and positive manner.

Nominated by Adrien R., Rouen, France:
Against state and many difficulties, Damien Careme decided to create with Medecins Sans Frontieres the first HCR Refugee Camp in France to welcome refugees, most of them coming from Kurdistan. He also takes very strong and wonderfull local decisions for environment and ecology.

Nominated by Claire S., France:
e decided to do something for migrants in a country which was afraid by arrivals of migrants. He decided to help them in a region where a lot of people vote for extreme politics xenophobic.

Nominated by Anne B., France:
Je vote pour lui pour sa capacité à trouver des solutions humaines là ou tous les autres s'accordent à dire qu'il n'y en a pas. 

Nominated by Saïda V., France:
Damien Carême est un Maire doté de beaucoup d'Humanité - Simple, généreux et courageux.
Elu pour un 2ème mandat dès le 1er tour des élections municipales grâce au soutien de la majorité des habitants. Il n'a pas hésité une seule seconde pour accueillir des migrants qui ont cherché refuge dans sa commune. Sa priorité est les enfants et les femmes dans un camp aux normes internationales avec la collaboration de Médecin Sans Frontières dans un premier temps. L'Ecole, les cuisines et les espaces communs au sein du camp "La linière" de Grande Synthe favorisent la communication avec tous les intervenants. Bravo à sa généreuse action.

Nominated by Jaouad Z., France:
I support Damien Carême because he succeeded in lodging the migrants with dignity with the implication of the inhabitants and without hatred.

Nominated by Audrey K., France:
M.Carême est d’une grande humanité, et il sait allier sens politique et sens de l’humain, ce qui extrêmement rare de nos jours. Ce qui m’a marqué un jour, c’est qu’il m’a dit qu’il trouvait mieux que dans sa ville il y ait des pommiers plutot que de planter des arbustes décoratifs, afin que même les plus pauvres puissent manger des fruits. Pour lui le budget était équivalent.. Peu de maires auraient pensé à ça! Par la suite, son attitude d’accueil envers les migrants (que nous serons peut être tous un jour) était admirable.

Nominated by Virginie H., France:
Bravo! Finally a humanist mayor who moves forward with his time in spite of the words and the threats of the intolerant ones and the kings of the discrimination (not to say another word).

Mayor Damien Carême did not want to leave children, women and men, having made this so long journey, already deprived by everything, live in the most total insalubrity and he had the courage to go up to the end in spite of all the obstacles put across his way! He created the first humanitarian camp of FRANCE. With a small wooden accommodation warmed for every family, hot meals for all, an infirmary, kitchen gardens created with associations and children, library, Wi-Fi point, points showers and toilets, cultural activities to help live together. At the start of the school year 2016, the taken refuge children are welcomed.  But it is necessary to underline also all that Damien Carême makes to improve the quality of life in his city, the environment and live it together. The inhabitants and those of the neighboring towns can take advantage of all which is proposed to you in Grande-Synthe for adults, children, elderly and people with reduced mobility.

He favors the exchanges between all his inhabitants: activities for all, friendly public places, varied and very numerous sports and cultural infrastructures, events of very high quality and accessible to all, sharings of knowledges-knowledge, shared, network gardens of help for the most deprived, modern and energy-saving social housing of energy, numerous and well equipped schools, urban kitchen gardens to learn to eat better (etc.)...

Grande-Synthe is an alive, united, modern, sustainable, respectful city of the social, cultural, generational mix of his inhabitants, the environment and the biodiversity. The water also found its place with channels and numerous plans of water there. She is already a member of model French cities regarding improvement of the quality of life of her inhabitants. "Sustainable development tours" are regularly organized there for a visit of the city with Damien Carême for passionate guide.

Another mayor would have never been able to do better! A city, but also larger-scale only one planet: the Future builds itself each and for all. The solidarity, to live him together, the education and the environmental protection are a part in particular of pillars of this construction.

Nominated by Veronique B., France:
Damien Carême a beaucoup agi pour la cause migratoire c'est pourquoi je le soutiens pleinement. Il s'est montré fort en tenant tête au gouvernement Français
Contributions: il a mis en place un camp humanitaire aec MSF
a développé des aides juridiques et soutien psychologique pour l‚ensemble de habitants
Challenges: Aujourd'hui les habitants ont parfaitement intégré le camp

Nominated by Elisabeth M., France:
HOMME d'ACTION, pourvu d'une grande HUMANITE,de CONVICTION, d'OPINIÂTRETE,de COURAGE... Damien CARÊME a pris les moyens d'agir contre le REJET, la DISCRIMINATION, l'HINUMANITE, la SOUFFRANCE.... en ouvrant cet accueil pour les Migrants, dans sa ville de Grande Synthe, bousculant le monde politique et l'ETAT. C'est la raison pour laquelle je souhaite que ce prix lui soit décerné.

Nominated by Sylvette R., France:
Damien est un ami de longue date, quand il est devenu maire de la ville que son père René Carême avait déjà tellement changé, il a continué à l'embellir: ville aux quartiers modernes écolos aérés, très bien fleurie (récompense 4 fleurs)
Contributions: Le camp de La Linière pour accueillir les migrants est un exemple pour toute l'Europe, cabanons en bois qui peut héberger une famille avec douche et commodités.

Nominated by PhD, France:
Damien Carême, contrary to all other mayors in the north of France was the only mayor to organise a camp to enable immigrants to stay in decent and humain conditions. This camp was built by the town with the help of NGO's against the will of the French state. This camp provides shelter, sanitation and food for up to 1400 immigrants.
Contributions: Immigrants staying in the humanitary camp of Grande Synthe have been involved in musical and sports events organised by the town.
Challenges: The migrants where since 2006 in a small wood, next to the town but the increasse from 100 to 3000 people made the conditions of living inhumain. The build of the humanitary camp of Grande-Synthe solved that problem.

Nominated by Pascal L., France:
Je soutiens Damien Carême pour avoir été le seul à prendre ses responsabilités face à la crise migratoire au centre de Europe.
Il a convaincu les habitants et le gouvernement français en leurs apportant de meilleurs conditions de VIE mais aussi à éviter des drames.   BRAVO
Contributions: L'organisation et la mise en place d'un camp humanitaire acceptable avec l'aide de diverses associations bénévoles où nous pouvons maintenant rencontrer des tonnes de sourires.
Challenges: L'intégration réussie entre migrants et habitants sur un territoire. GRANDE-SYNTHE reste une ville référence dans bien des domaines et n'hésite pas à transmettre ses actions à travers le monde.

Nominated by Laurence D., Grande-Synthe:
Mayor Carême is a trustworthy man, with beautiful convictions. Human values, and well being of all people are important for him. Ecology, social, culture, education...there is so many example of his action for the town. I'm proud to live in my city, I'm proud of what Damien Carême do every day for the migrants and the synthois: bring humanity.

Nominated by Elisabeth G., France:
Parce que la décision de faire accepter un camp de réfugiés a été emportée par le Maire de Grande-Synthe, à contre courant des positions de l'Etat et de l'état d'esprit ambiant en France... comme quoi, c'est possible.

Nominated by Pascal, Grande-Synthe:
Damien Carême had to face with a human desperate situation because of the local configuration : Highway 25 miles away from channel to England, the hope of many migrants. Camping first hidden in a wood, the winter arriving and the increasing tensions to block the channel access, more and more families with young children, women, and the mud, the cold, the possible health disaster. The mayor has settled showers and toilets and a few barracks for women but it was complicated by government decisions and restricting laws for help to migrants. Then, within a few days, the decision was taken to find a better solution by preparing the ground so that it would not be heavy mud like during 1st WW in the Flanders fields, with shelter for a family and common services like laundry, telephone plugs...sports places, just to help a less awful everyday life for people who had to support this terrible war in Iraq.

Challenges: He managed to stay well-balanced between giving an information to inhabitants fed with rumours and TV 40 sec reports too short to give a real and deep information by writing letters to citizen on one hand and to work with French state administration reluctant to creating a camp.

Nominated by Roger D., outside France:
Grande Synthe , capitale nationale de la biodiversité 2010. Politique globale au sein de la commune favorable au développement durable.Partage d'expériences au niveau national et plus.
Contributions: Participation à l'aménagement d'un camp de migrants sur le territoire de la commune dans des conditions plus respectueuses de l'être humain.

Nominated by Kristian S., Sweden:
By providing refugees with humane living conditions, Mayor Damien Carême has given them dignity and allowed them to interact with local residents at eye level.

Nominated by Detlef v. G., Germany:
Damien Carême, der Buergermeister einer kleinen Stadt in Nordfrankreich, hat gezeigt, wir man ohne viel Mittel den Schwaechsten der Gesellschaft helfen kann. Er hat geplant und geschufftet, um den menchenunwuerdigen Verhaeltnissen in den Lagern um Calais ein Ende zu setzen. Sein Idealismus, sein Mut und seine Sturheit haben dazu gefuehrt, dass die Verantwortlichen in Paris und im Departement nicht anders konnten, als im nachtraeglich ihre Unterstuetzung anzubieten.

Nominated by Jean-Marc R., France:
Damien Carême created a camp, alone, without government supplies ton welcome migrants.

Nominated by Florence T., France:
I nominate Damien Carême for the World Mayor Prize because he has the courage to create a refugee camp in his city, even if the French government did'nt give him the autorisation to open it.

Nominated by Regnier, France:
The Mayor of Grande Synthe is a simple human being with convictions, who built alone a camp to welcome migrants

Nominated by Karam, Syria and now France:
Merci Monsieur le Maire.