- Evelyne Pichenot, of the European Economic and Social Committee, welcomed the participants and introduced the seminar with a very general overview of the links between migrations and the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) and between migration and development.
- Ronald Lucardie, Chair of the Eunomad network, continued the welcoming speech with a presentation of Eunomad and the importance of the “complementary” aspect of the three elements that mold the network: migration, development and integration. He also made a first reference to the role played by local authorities as actors of development. Eunomad, through this seminar, intends to prove the necessity for local authorities’ commitments to complete the actions of other actors present in this field.
- Yacine Diakité, Deputy mayor of the city of Aubervilliers (France), started on this issue by presenting the actions of Aubervilliers, a city which contains 33% of foreigners out of 75000 inhabitants. The elements migration-development-integration are thus closely interrelated and lead to actions which rely on human and financial means: integration of migrants in the local political life and in socio-professional actions, support for cultural mediation measures, the creation of a network of local actors for integration and for learning French, support for co-development to countries of origin, etc.
- The intervention of Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, Research professor at CNRS at the Centre for Studies in International Relations of Sciences-Po Paris, enabled us to get to the heart of the matter by presenting the issues and challenges posed by the global governance of migration and development and the right to mobility.
She qualified the current situation as being a “regional and worldwide disorder” by referring to the rapid urbanization of the planet, the demographic transitions in the North and South and the blockages in the freedom of movement. According to her, solutions to exit this “disorder” are: 1. Integrate countries of emigration in the debates, as the big countries of immigration are currently monopolizing the discourse on the structural global framework on migrations, 2. Structure the reflection at an international level, 3. Elaborate norms which would be imposed on States, 4. Make mobility a global public good, 5. Restore political trust in the State and give hope to populations without necessarily establishing a new world economic order.
- Altay Manço (IRFAM, Belgium) completed the picture depicted by Catherine Wihtol de Wenden by focalizing on the roles of local authorities. According to him, municipalities are the first to address the issue of local management of diversity and are competent to deal with it. He described European politics on migrations and diversity as sometimes being contradictory, decisions being made and applied at a macro level though it concerns local experiences. He recommends an improvement of intercultural skills to solve the challenges faced by European societies, with, among other things, a change of attitudes towards diversity, the creation of new spaces of overlapping and debate between local communities, and the promotion of civic expressions amongst immigrant populations.
- Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General of Policy and thematic coordination in the DG DEVCO, then reported on the recent trends in international efforts for development in line with the MDG and linked these elements to the role played by civil society organizations (CSO) and local and regional authorities. The new phase 2014-2020 will thus focus on initiatives at a local level, will attempt to strengthen the capacities of CSO and will address the question of ensuring coherence between development policies in the post-2015 context.
- Duy Le Duc, of Infodracek and representing the Czech platform, was the first practitioner to intervene and hence bringing a very concrete aspect to the seminar by presenting a practice and experience of its association. He spoke of the information actions provided for Vietnamese citizens arriving in the Czech Republic, in order to facilitate their adaptation to the country and their integration. This programme covers many themes such as education, health, everyday life situations, bank and finance, administration, etc.
- Caterina Sarfatti presented the work of the City of Milan at the junction of international cooperation and social cohesion, inclusion and integration. In 2007, Milan launched the programme “Milan for co-development” with three calls for proposals to support co-development projects initiated by associations (including migrant organizations) and which contain actions here and there.
The City of Milan also tries to rethink integration services within a transnational context, by considering migrants as bridges between territories.
Moreover, Milan is a member of the Eurocities network and, by signing the “Integration Cities” charter, is committed to the integration of migrants.
- Wolfgang Bosswick expounded on the goals and actions of CLIP (Cities for Local Integration Policy), a network of European cities for a local integration policy. Through the organizations of workshops and the production of reports, CLIP allows for member cities to exchange on their territorial issues and practices and to learn from one another. They are accompanied by European research centers to complete the reflection.
- Finally, Pere Puig reflected on the Catalonia region which has had to acknowledge the diversity of the populations present on its territory. Immigration and development have thus become priorities for the Catalan government. Moreover, the local dimension is highly encouraged in order to facilitate the exchange of experiences between local and regional stakeholders.
The second thematic session focused on the links and consistencies between local authorities, civil society organizations and European public policies.
- Antonio Marquez Camacho, Head of sector ‘Local authorities, decentralization and local governance’ in the DG DEVCO, introduced the main elements of the new CE Communication on local authorities and development, edited on May 15th 2013. In this document, the CE recommends once again the strengthening of the capacities of the civil society so that they are able to perform their duties and integrate their actions in governmental programmes.
- Rodrigo Ballester, of the DG Home Affairs, completed Mr. Camacho’s presentation by establishing a link with the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility. This Approach, adopted in 2011, guides the general framework of European policies in the field of external migration.
- Lorenzo Gabrielli, researcher at GRITIM, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and at the Centre Emile Durkheim of Sciences Po Bordeaux, ended this session by presenting the 2012 Eunomad European report. Editor of this report, Lorenzo emphasized the main themes that structure the document: processes of collective work, the impact of the economic crisis on migration and development, border policies, migrations as ‘flows’ or ‘stocks’, the existing ambivalences, etc.
The first day ended with a more festive moment: a cocktail buffet was hosted by the City of Brussels in the Wedding Room of the Town Hall.
The second day of the seminar started with a thematic session on the practices of active citizenship and intercultural dialogue carried out by local authorities and migration associations and the way they bring better policy coherence between migration, integration and development. This session examined how, in this context, local authorities and the civil society can effectively bring better policy linkages between these three elements. The issue of intercultural governance as a participatory, proactive and preventive approach was also addressed.
- Thi Thanh Van Vu, representing the German platform, spoke to us about the main activity of the Sprint Rostock association which trains linguistic and cultural mediators for the integration of recent arrivals in Rostock in order to intervene in administrative, social, education and health services. The association is currently trying to get the German government to give official recognition to this 12 to 18 months training.
- Lucia Fresa presented the AMITIE project (Awareness on Migration, Development and Human Rights through local partnerships), coordinated by the Municipality of Bologna and involving partners in Brazil, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Spain. This project aims at improving the impact of development education activities focused on communication: the new communication campaigns are participatory and based on intercultural aspects. They try to promote the added value of migrants, support co-development projects and highlight the negative repercussions of discrimination.
- Farida van Bommel, of Women for Peace in the Moluccas, gave an overview of the situation in the Molucca Islands, in the north-east of Indonesia, where a conflict between Christians (95% of the population) and Muslims (5%) persists since 1999 (with outbreaks of violence between 1999 et 2003). Farida and her colleagues felt the need to react to these tensions that were felt all the way in the Netherlands by creating a platform of refugee women in the Netherlands. According to the members of this platform, women can play a significant role for peace and security and can be change makers. The platform organized two conferences in Burundi and in Jakarta gathering women “peace-makers” to defend Resolution 1325 of the UN Security Council on women, peace and security.
Furthermore, Women for Peace in the Moluccas cooperates with local authorities in the Netherlands and in the Molucca Islands on the themes of citizenship and empowerment of women. Since 2010, a training program to reach the MDG 3 (gender equality), 5 (maternal health) and 6 (fight against HIV/AIDS) is organized in 62 villages of these islands.
The last session which punctuated the seminar tackled the issue of territorial management and of decentralized cooperation in projects of international solidarity and co-development . A definition of decentralized cooperation was thus given and the sub-theme of migration-local and regional authority partnerships was dealt with.
- Cécile Riallant presented the EC-UN Joint Migration & Development Initiative which attempts to articulate the national and the local. This initiative criticizes local development plans for not giving enough attention to the migratory phenomena, which consequently leads to the fragmentation of local authorities’ actions in this field. It hence aims at supporting local authorities and the civil society which work on the link between migration and development and the opportunities that result from it.
- Kryemadhi Safet, representing the Deputy Burgomaster for international solidarity, Mr. El Ktibi, intervened on the actions of the City of Brussels in the field of development cooperation. On one hand, a “Council of Brussels Residents of Foreign Origins” was created; it unites into four thematic groups in order to analyze and evaluate the policies undertaken by the City (teaching, social affairs, citizenship and participation, cultures and diversity).
On the other hand, Brussels is implementing projects of decentralized cooperation with the cities of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Tetouan (Morocco) for the strengthening of capacities of local administrations in the fields of civil registration, public cleanliness, health (Kinshasa) and social action (Tetouan).
- Juan Jose Ortiz Quevedo, representing the Spanish municipality of Cadiz, spoke to us about the creation of a council of migrants and the significant support for cooperation and development education. The Andalusian city is also a member of PLATFORMA, a European platform gathering 24 local and regional authorities since 2008 and aiming at gaining more political recognition for the actions of local and regional authorities in the fields of development cooperation, at creating an extensive dialogue between the latter and European institutions, and at promoting an efficient decentralized cooperation for the development of partner territories.
- Finally, Ignacio Martinez completed this theme by presenting the work of Plataforma 2015, a Spanish association assembling 17 NGO and fostering communication, awareness-raising and training actions on the significance of human development. Plataforma 2015 highlights the importance of requiring for governments to respect international agreements aiming at achieving more coherent and efficient international cooperation to reduce poverty and social exclusion.
To conclude this seminar, Lorenzo Gabrielli and Pascale Charhon (IRFAM) elaborated a preliminary framework of recommendations, further enriched by the reflections that were matured through the seminar. These recommendations intend at contributing to the successful implementation of a local governance of development cooperation projects involving migrants. They are structured around four main blocks:
- Diversity, intercultural relations and citizen participation as crucial elements to the development of territories
- The capacity-building of local authorities and CSO in the area of migration-development-integration as an important prerequisite for the achievement of the complementarity of actions between NSAs actors and local authorities
- The coordination of the planning and programming of decentralized cooperation and projects of international solidarity in close consultation with the local voluntary sector based on migration
- The promotion of exchanges of practices and networking
Ronald Lucardie, President of Eunomad
Claire de Rasilly, Eunomad Coordinator, ADER (France)
Pascale Charhon, European Public Affairs Manager of Eunomad, IRFAM (Belgium)
Mélodie Beaujeu, French platform animator, ENDA EUROPE
Rubén Cardenas, German platform animator, FABRO e.V.
Jara Henar, Spanish platform animator, Alianza por la Solidaridad
Download the analytical summary of the seminar, prepared by Lorenzo Gabrielli (in French only).
Read the PLATFORMA article on the seminar