On 6 & 7 June 2023, within the framework of ALDA Festival and General Assembly 2023, EPIC – European Platform of Integrating Cities partners and both local and international stakeholders gathered together in Brussels (Belgium) for the last events of the project. The two events had the objective of discussing the project’s outcome and allow participants to talk about the sustainability of EPIC.
The third international networking event took place on 6 June, where partners and their local stakeholders had the opportunity to present their activities on migrant integration. Eventually, the audience was splitted in different focus groups to brainstorm on the current status and to discuss possible solutions to inclusion and integration of migrants in several fields namely, education, employment, legal and administrative support, housing, health, narrative, civic engagement and policy making.
The following day, the Final Conference of the project began with a welcoming speech from ALDA Governing Board member and President of Cooperativa Studio Progetto, Mr. Andrea Rilievo, followed by the keynote speech from Mr. Luca Barani, Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG HOME).
EPIC addresses the challenges of the integration of migrants by targeting medium-sized cities
This first session was followed by a roundtable entitled “How to strengthen multilevel governance on migration? How to better include contributions and inputs from territories?” where representatives from local authorities, European institutions and CSOs exchanged views and opinions on the importance of acting at the local level.
The speakers of the roundtable were:
- Dace Vinosvka, European Committee of the Regions
- Petra Hueck, Director of ICMC Europe
- Milica Petrovic, Director of EPIM
- Maria Grazia Montella, Coordinator Migration & Integration CEMR
- Luca Musile Tanzi, Mayor of Salsomaggiore Terme Municipality (Italy)
- Leticia Santaballa, Yaran NGO
In order to give concrete sustainability to the project beyond its lifespan, the last morning session focused on the Memorandum of Understanding, a document signed by the municipality and the local Non-Governmental Organisations to engage and commit in future actions together.
In the afternoon, all the sessions were structured as a marketplace where partners had the chance to showcase their activities on the 3 parallel actions they implemented: first they focused on the pilot projects, then on the counter-narrative campaigns to change the negative narrative in their territory (you can read the EPIC Toolkit on how to implement an alternative narrative campaign) and lastly on the local paths by answering the question: “How to raise awareness and mobilise citizens and local actors?”. The event ended with a networking aperitif.
If you want to know more about the EPIC project and its result, you can check out the final publication available in all the languages of the project!