The New Europeans

24. Feb – 26. Feb 2017
Athens, Greece
Since 2015 more than a million refugees and asylum seekers have arrived at our continent. Much has been said and written regarding this, and different policies for how to handle what some call a refugee crisis have been laid out. As young liberals, we want to be on the forefront of the policy making and look to the future. The fact is that all these people are already in Europe, and many of them have been or will be granted asylum or other permits to stay. Therefore, we are interested in looking at the next phase of the migration equation: how to make these new Europeans adjust to and feel at home in our countries, how to make them integrate in our societies. The European Liberal Forum is organizing an event with the support of LYMEC and FNF and with the financial support of the European Parliament at the end of February. The workshop will be discussing the challenges of migration and especially the integration of the new Europeans. The focus will mainly be on solutions to the challenge posed on European countries by the large number of refugees entering the continent over the Mediterranean Sea, but other reasons for migration, i.e. economic, can also be touched upon. Participants will be required to draft a paper on the topic when applying for the workshop, that later will be part of a publication on the topic.

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  • Short view

    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.

     

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