The conference aimed at presenting the role of social services as an effective integration medium for migrants in the local EU communities, and to discuss the challenges the services face in in fulfilling this role.
Participants in the conference included representatives from public services, embassies, civil society organizations, academics, international organizations and agencies, and the general public.
CARDET, member of the MMN secretariat, presented the activities and next steps of the Network. CARDET’s presentation focused on the potentials of the MMN to act as a vehicle for synthesizing new and innovative projects with the collaboration among its members and pursuing funding to sustain and widen its activities. The Network through its envisioned extended membership, expects to maximize its advocacy and lobbying activities for the development of a common EU migration policy, recognizing the rights of all EU habitats.
During the conference, local authorities, public institutions, NGOs, think tanks, and international networks, such as the International Organization for Migration, the Media Diversity Institute, the Centre for Ethnic Studies of Lithuania, KOPIN Malta, AMSED France and more, delivered presentations on the role of social services in the integration process of migrants in EU.
Dr. Ahmed Z. Burgi of the Foundation for Shelter and Support for Migrants in Malta, being a migrant himself, delivered a presentation and a personal take on the issue of persistent negative stereotypes attached to migrants. His take was a combination of a personal storyline of how he overcame the stereotypical view of the Maltese society and created a two way beneficial relationship interlard with his experience of running the biggest open center for migrants. The Media Diversity Institute of UK broadcasted during the conference a short film addressing the issue of migrants and stereotypes, discussing also the media power to overturn those negative stereotypes.
The association CSV Marche- Italy and the Hellenic Migration Policy Center respectively, presented the overall social services provision context in their counties and discussed some successful initiatives taken in relevant fields.
The conference provided also two parallel workshops, one on “Policy Review on Integration and Social Services” delivered by the International Organization for Migration and one on “Social Services and Integration, Practices for EU member states”, which was a collection of presentations from EU organizations on their experiences and practices in providing social services to migrants.
In the links below you can access all conference and workshops presentations:
- Welcome message, MMN Activities & Next steps - Dr Charalambos Vrasidas (Executive Director, CARDET) & Sotiris Themistokleous (Assistant Director, CARDET)
- Migrants and Social Services in Cyprus -Dr. Stefanos Spaneas, Associate Professor, University of Nicosia
- Marsa Open Centre in Malta: Experiences and Practices - Dr. Ahmed Z. Bugri, Director, Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants
- Immigration in Italy - Highlights - Pietro Pinto and Gianluca Frattani, CSV MARCHE
- Policy Review on Integration and Social Services - Anna Platonova, International Organization of Migration
- Migration and Integration in Malta: from Good Practices to the lack of a Policy, Federica Di Giulio KOPIN, Malta
- Social Services and Migrants: Practices and the work of the Centre for Ethnic Studies of Lithuania- Dr. Karolis Zibas, CES - Lithuania
- Good practices at local level to facilitate the integration of migrants in France - Saide Bozoklu, ASED Network- France
- Response to Integration and Support in Bulgaria - Diana Dimova, Samaritans Association – Bulgaria