On 3 and 4 April, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Commission held this year's European Migration Forum (EMF), which explored the role of civil society and local authorities in managing migration and ensuring safe and regular pathways to the EU.
The 2019 Forum - now in its fifth year - produced ten recommendations, which were the result of discussions between some 250 professionals from EU civil society organisations and representatives from local, regional and national authorities, European institutions and international organisations.
The event was opened by the Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and EESC President, Luca Jahier, who both stressed the need for a smart and well-controlled EU policy on legal migration, which could in turn help the EU to harness the benefits of migration, promote social cohesion and protect the most vulnerable amongst the migrants.
The EMF pointed to the power of grassroots level in terms of making a difference in the successful management of migration and highlighted the pressing need to include migrants' views when developing integration policies.
Other proposals topping the list of the Forum's recommendations focused on the involvement of host societies in migrant inclusion projects, special needs of vulnerable groups, incentives for the reintegration of migrants in their countries of origin following a stay in the EU for work or study and other issues. (ll)