The New Europeans
Young liberals met with new Europeans and discussed steps for a European asylum and integration system
In mid-march February ca 30 young liberals from all over Europe gathered in Athens, Greece for a for a two-day workshop with the title “The New Europeans” The workshop was co-organised by LYMEC, ELF and FNF.
In order to apply to the event participants had to submit a paper on the topic of the workshop to make sure participants are familiar with the topic. With that process we ensured a high level of discussions.
LYMEC president Sissel Kvist and Markus Kaiser from FNF opened the event together. The workshop then kicked off with the presentations by the participants of their papers, moderated by LYMEC Vice president Svenja Hahn. The approaches to the topic were diverse from integration on a member states as well as a European level, different ideas on how to shape a European asylum and immigration system as well as concepts on how to tackle the problems leading to mass migration often fueled by war and poverty.The presentation was followed by a speech by LYMEC Secretary General Danica Vihinen on reasons for migration and definition of terminologies like refugees, asylum seekers or economic migrant. The first day finished with a discussion about a film on Syrian refugee children steered by Athanasios Grammenos from FNF Greece.
The second day was dedicated a unique opportunity: The participants visited the Welcommon Centre in Athens which is a private shelter and school for refugees. The most touching and enlightening part for the participants were the discussions with young Syrian refugees during the Centre visit. The participants discussed with the male and female teenagers their stories and hopes for their future in Europe as well learned from them about detailed flaws in the current asylum system.
Later on the session on shaping a European integration with high profile speakers like the President of the Greek Forum of Migrants as well as a Case Worker in the Greek Asylum Service took place. Especially for that session the Executive Director of KEFiM joined the workshop. This agenda point was moderated by LYMEC Digital Officer Kevin Tammearu.
The participants were given the opportunity to finalise and possibly update their papers with new insights from the seminar with the new insights they gained from the workshop. The papers will be compiled into a book that will be published this summer by ELF.