Refugee and migrant movements have always required multi-level responses by many actors. While policy initiatives are intensively discussed at the decision-making level, many civil society organisations are active on the ground, providing daily humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants and working towards their socio-economic inclusion.
The aim of this event was to illustrate the pivotal role and daily challenges of civil society organisations in helping refugees and migrants, from offering basic protection such as housing and healthcare, to providing education and legal information. In doing so, the Diversity Europe Group wished to re-focus political attention on the topic and to offer a forum for civil society and EU Institutions to debate these issues in the context of EU recovery and reconstruction, post Covid-19.
The Conference was divided into two panels. During the first session, representatives from various civil society organisations shared their practical experiences in helping refugees upon their arrival, travelling across Europe and integrating into the EU Member States. In the second session, representatives from EU institutions and bodies were called upon to react to these comments and to exchange views on possible steps forward and solutions.
Following the concept of a “hybrid meeting”, the conference took place both online and at the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. Due to the Covid 19 restrictions, only EESC Members and speakers were allowed to be physically present in the meeting room. Other members and invited participants attended the Conference remotely, using the platform interactio.