The European Movement in the Republic of Macedonia (EMRM), in cooperation with the Institute for Geostrategic Research and Foreign Policy – IGRFP of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, organised an international conference in Skopje, Macedonia on 20 September.
 
The Conference, under the title “European values and security faced with the Migration and Refugee crisis – A Perspective from the Civil Society” analysed the main challenges all European states, and especially the Western Balkan countries are currently facing in the context of migration and the refugee crisis.
 
Representatives from national councils of the European Movements and civil society organisations from CEI Member States participated in the event. Germany, Greece and Turkey, highly concerned with the migrant crisis, were also present. High-level panellists dealing with the refugees  presented the various  discussions of the topic focussing on the perspective of human rights and the exchange of experiences, good practices, models and cooperation networks.
 
Among the conclusions of the conference, the European Movement International pointed out that “European migration policy should be built based on a shared agenda, not a unilateral action contrary to European values”. The need for a European response to the crisis compliant with the essential European values such as democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, humanity and solidarity was emphasised. It was also highlighted that mass migration and refugee waves had economic, social, financial and political implications for which an adequate and single response had not been developed yet. Shared responsibility is to continuously raise awareness towards non-discrimination, anti-xenophobia, tolerance, and solidarity for people without a homeland, in accordance with the Convention on the Status of Refugees, the European Convention on Human Rights, and other international treaties for their protection.
 
Security issues were also at the centre of the debate. The lack of a single integrated system of defence and border protection, which has led during the last year to the installation of barriers in many European countries, was underlined. This was not efficient against illegal entry and caused a domino effect of insecurity and distrust among countries. Participants agreed on the need of improving and promoting cross-border cooperation to give a shared response in all segments of the management of migrant and refugee waves.
 
The Conclusions adopted by the conference recalled how migrant and refugee crisis is, by all indications, a long-term phenomenon, which implies continued cooperation and synergic action between the civil society and public authorities, both at national level and within the CEI, the EU, and the international community as a whole.
 
This activity is supported and co-financed by the CEI Cooperation Fund (Extraordinary Call covering migration).
  • Conclusions of the gathering available here

 

regional cooperation for European Integration and sustainable development