International Seminar in Skopje on World Refugee Day
On the occasion of the World Refugee day, on 20 and 21 June 2016, an International Seminar organized by ALDA took place in Skopje, Macedonia.
With the title “Cooperation on the governance of migration in Western Balkans and Central European countries” the International Seminar gathered European experts, activists and representatives of local and central authorities on the topic of the refugees in Europe.
The rich and various presentations delivered during this International Seminar drew a global picture of the ongoing crisis as well as ideas on how the national stakeholders and, more specifically, the local stakeholders should engage and coordinate in order to face the issue.
The seminar showcased more than 70 participants, representatives of local, national and international NGOs, local authorities coming from all around Europe, with a focus on central Europe. All participants had the opportunity to share their experiences and concerns, while analysing potential actions to ensure the best reception and integration of migrants.
Participants debated also on local inclusion of refugees through education and professional training, on the role of citizens and media to fight against prejudice, and on how to create partnerships for inclusive communities. Discussions led to the recognition of some recommendations on how to implement refugees’ human rights on the field, and how to shift from emergency management to integration policies, through the strengthening of networking capacities between national level bodies, local authorities and CSOs.
More than a seminar, this event was aiming to develop a network of stakeholders in central Europe and further. Through the rich and fruitful exchanges of these two days, the event was a first step towards a bigger plan.
The International Seminar is included in the framework of the project “WELCOMING – Wanting Europe as Leverage for Co-operation on the Migratory Insertion Governance” co-financed by the Central European Initiative (CEI), with the financial assistance of the EU, and the support of the programme for Decentralized cooperation Normandy – Macedonia and the International Institute for human rights and peace in Caen.
In November 2015, ALDA launched its “Migration Initiative”, a set of actions developed by local authorities and civil society organisations aimed at providing relief and integration opportunities for the newcomers in the framework of the project LADDER. Among the outputs of this initiative, also the Recommendations on the role of Local Authorities in the refugee crisis; the joint consortium statement calling for humane treatment of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection, as well as combating smuggling and the root causes of migrations.