Migration is one of the major challenges that the European Union (EU) is called to face today. As a result, the management of the issues and topics relevant to migration and the integration of the Third Country Nationals (TCNs), requires the collaboration of all stakeholders at European and regional level.
Within this framework, the international research centre CARDET (www.cardet.org) in collaboration with the consulting firm INNOVADE (www.innovade.org), have recently received additional support to continue the operations of the Mediterranean Migration Network - MMN (www.migrationnetwork.org).
The MMN has currently more than 200 members and has been active in the past years in advocacy and lobbying in the areas of policy development for migration and integration at national and European level. The network is supported by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Republic of Cyprus.
In the framework of the Network’s activities, CARDET organised a kick off meeting on Tuesday, 21st February 2017, with the participation of a number of public bodies, municipal officials and NGO representatives in order to discuss on the further developments of the Network, elaborate on the ongoing needs and good practices, discuss the current trends on migration, and address organizational challenges of the MMN members.
During the meeting, Sotiris Themistokleous, Associate Director of CARDET, made a small presentation of CARDET’s work for the past 10 years. Next, he presented the operational activities of the Mediterranean Migration Network over the past 4 years. Some of the operational activities that took place within the MMN framework were regular meetings with stakeholders, advocacy and lobbying, capacity building for the MMN members, the development of policy and discussion papers, eLibrary, networking and partnership with MMN members, awareness raising activities as well as study visits to EU member states that effectively apply best practices for the integration of TCNs. Participants, amongst other, discussed the needs of stakeholders in issues relevant to migration and integration. This needs include the collection of expertise and information from integration practitioners and the cooperation between stakeholders in migration and integration at a European Level. Moreover, participants discussed the current Cypriot policies on migration (positive and negative aspects and gaps). Through the meeting it also became obvious the lack of collaboration and communication between public services and other institutions, which limits the efficiency on dealing with migration challenges. In this context, participants suggested that the network should elaborate on the common characteristics on migration with other Mediterranean countries in order to have common goals and enhance cooperation between organizations and public authorities, and to have as a general thematic focus the Human Rights of Migrants.
The meeting attended representatives of Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), Asylum Service, Citizens in Power, University of Nicosia, UNHCR, Hope for Children, Municipality of Engomi, Municipality of Agios Dometios, Municipality of Agios Athanasios, INNOVADE and CARDET.