Lampedusa-Berlin, Travel Journal: Final event
The final event of the Project Lampedusa – Berlin, Travel Journal took place in Strasbourg on the 14th and 15th of March. The representatives of the civil society organisations who took part in the 18 months long project met in order to reflect on the work that has been done, present the results to European Institutions and exchange on on future actions.
The event - summarized below - consisted of a meeting in the European Parliament, a meeting in the Council of Europe, an exchange on the European contest “Narrating the Dialogue,” an open projection of a documentary film and a series of workshops. Such a variety of events allowed to address a wide public: from European decision makers and politicians coming from different political backgrounds, to European activists and citizens of Strasbourg and the region.
The aims of the project were: the exchange of ideas, values and practices; the development of reflections and proposals from civic society on migration and asylum policies in Europe; the sensitisation of civic society and the wider public.
The participants of the Final Event of the Lampedusa – Berlin Project in the European Parliament, Wednesday, 14th of March 2018
Conference in the European Parliament, Wednesday March 14th
Massimiliano Montini (Fortes Foundation), Benjamin Abtan (EGAM) and Issouf Aguidid (EGAM) during the meeting in the European Parliament (Wednesday, March 14th)
Andreea Oglagea, Development Officer, EGAM, welcomed the participants, presented the speakers and outlined the agenda of the meeting.
Julie Ward, MEP and member of the Elie Wiesel Network welcomed the participants of the project in the European Parliament and stressed the importance of lobbying and grassroots actions in the context of hostility towards migrants expressed by European governments, notably the British one. She stressed that we face a crisis of solidarity, not a refugee crisis in European Union.
Benjamin Abtan, President of EGAM and Coordinator of the Elie Wiesel Network, stated that the issue of refugees and migrants is at the heart of political debate and a main tool of political instrumentalization of nationalism, and therefore should be a key element in the fight against racism today.
Massimiliano Montini, Member of the Management Council of ForTeS Foundation and member of Fondazione Monte dei Paschi di Siena, presented the document “10 points for a new migration policy in Europe” – one of the main outcomes of the project. These policy proposals consist of long and short-term solutions addressing the crisis of the European asylum system:
- Restore sea rescue services
- Revise agreements with third countries
- Develop legal humanitarian corridors for refugees
- Support the approval of the reform of the Dublin Regulation, towards a better common European law on asylum
- Improve first-reception systems
- Revise Frontex Agency
- Facilitate the issues of visas for work, study and family reunification
- Encourage appropriate national legislation on Jus Soli
- Promote the political solution of the conflicts underlying migration
- Support development in West Africa
You can find the full version of the document “10 points for a new migration policy
in Europe” here.
This was followed by interventions from Julie Ward, Andrea Ciantar, Project Manager, Fortes Foundation and Coline Ach, representative of MEP Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy, consisting of proposals on possible future actions, the Dublin regulation, humanitarian visas and agreements with third-state countries.
Café-debat: “When Paul Came Over the Sea,” Cinema Star Saint-Exupéry, Wednesday, March 14th
Participants met for a movie projection open to the public. "When Paul came over the Sea" (2017), by German director Jakob Preuss, traces the journey of Paul, a Cameroonian who left his home country to travel to Germany, where he has always dreamed of living. The issues raised in the film, such as the situation of European borders, the right to migration and the right to asylum, and the situation of migrants in irregular situations have opened the discussions that followed the screening.
Meeting at the Council of Europe , with Edo Korljan, Political Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary General on migration and refugees (Thursday, March 15th)
Andreea Oglagea (EGAM), Massimiliano Montini (Fortes Foundation) and Edo Korlian (Council of Europe) at the conference table at Council of Europe. Thursday, March 15th.
Massimiliano Montini (Fortes Foundation) and Edo Korlian (Council of Europe) at the conference table at Council of Europe. Thursday, March 15th
Massimiliano Montini, presented the document “10 points for a new migration policy in Europe.”
Edo Korljan, Political Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary General on migration and refugees, briefly presented the Council of Europe, its members and institutions. He explained that the institution is built on three principles: democracy, human rights and state of law and described its role, as well as the role of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on migration and refugees.
He commented on the 10 points and explained their link with the works of the Council, especially the family regroupement programme, the two conventions on nationality and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on conditions in the reception centres.
His intervention was followed by a debate, during which the questions on the agreements with third countries and Dublin regulation were raised, among others. Issouf Aguidid evoked the relations between his country of origin, Mali, and European governments, especially France. He called for the control of the development funds sent by European governments to dictatorial regimes as a way to stopping migration. Mustafa Paaksimaa brought up the issue of refusal of many European states of a refugee status to Afghan citizens based on the principle of the presumed “safe transition zone” and the role played by the third country reports prepared by CoE.
It was agreed that a closer cooperation between civil society and humanitarian organisations with Council of Europe would be beneficial for both sides.
Participants of the project in front of the Council of Europe, Thursday, March, 15th.
Workshop: The stories of Lampedusa – Berlin, Lieu d’Europe(Thursday, March 15th)
Participants of the project listening to one of the winning stories. Thursday, March 15th.
The event was concluded with a workshop during which representatives of the participating organisations presented stories selected in the European contest “Narrating the Dialogue.” Winning works took multiple forms, from written stories, to animations and short movies. Two of the stories were read by their authors: Shikhali Mirzai and Ana Senčić, followed by discussions. It was agreed that individual stories constitute the best mean of sensitisation of the wider public on refugee issues.