The Mediterranean Migration Network (MMN) organized a meeting to revisit and develop its action plan and future steps, following the renewal of the support it receives from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.
The MMN meeting took place at the University on Nicosia, 27-28 April 2017 in Nicosia, Cyprus. The MMN is coordinated by the international research centre CARDET in collaboration with consulting firm INNOVADE LI ltd.
The meeting attended representatives of services and authorities from the Republic of Cyprus, International Organisations, and NGOs from other EU-countries, such as the University of Nicosia, the UNHCR, Youth board of Cyprus, the Hope for Children CRC Policy centre, the Cyprus Police, the Ministry of Interior, the Asylum Service, European Funds Unit of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus, the Municipality of Agios Dometios, the Municipality of Agios Athanasios, the Municipality of Engomi, Caritas, the International Organization for Migration and the University of Yale USA.
The objectives of the meeting were:
- to understand the mission and objectives of the MMN and discuss its role within the EU and the region
- to share practices and experiences in the field of migration and integration management
- to identify needs and challenges faced by members and to explore ways in which the network can help to address some of the challenges
- to discuss the MMN’s activities and ways in which members can contribute,
- to draft a strategic vision and an action plan to secure MMN’s sustainable contribution and support to its members.
The meeting initially conducted a needs assessment among the participants, to identify primarily their expectations and how the MMN could address them. Some of the needs discussed were; the challenges that organizations face today in terms of migration and integration, the members’ expectations in relation to the MMN, the redefinition of the working framework of the MMN, and the suggestion of good practices for actions implementation as a support for the MMN members.
Some of the main issues identified and raised were: the migration policies are not unified, there is lack of information and awareness, migrants’ skills and qualifications are not registered while the need to train the staff (both of public and private stakeholders) is essential. There is a lack of cooperation among NGOs and Public Service and not a concrete decision on a European level and hopefully at some point MMN will act as a central platform for EU migration and integration issues.
Further to the needs and challenges assessment, participants discussed on a number of topics the MMN should focus on. Such themes were; the sharing of good and bad practices - participants pointed out that it is important to know the practices established and did not work out; MMN ambassadors within the EU countries in order to promote the work and activities of the MMN; volunteering exchange and the standardization of practice and methodology in an international level.