The sixth European Migration Forum (EMF),held virtually by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commissionon 27-28 October,stressed the indispensable role of migrants during the pandemic and the great potential of their contribution to the EU's economic and social recovery after the COVID-19 crisis.
Under the overarching theme ‘’From pandemic to recovery: challenges and best practices in migration management’’, the European Migration Forum focused the discussions on migrant children's access to education, migrants' digital inclusion, legal pathways with a special emphasis on community sponsorship and migrants' contribution to the recovery.
This year’s virtual event attracted over 200 representatives from civil society organisations, regional and local authorities, and European and international institutions who actively work on migrants inclusion in their host communities. The participants enthusiastically exchanged views on best practices and projects in the fields of education, community sponsorship and digital information, and put forward proposals aimed at making EU society more inclusive. At both the plenary sessions and workshops, the importance of involving every part of European society in policymaking and changing the narrative on migration was highlighted, starting with cities and local and regional authorities and primarily involving migrants and refugees themselves.
The event's keynote speakers, EESC president Christa Schweng and Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, emphasised the significance of inclusive employment and education and the role of local communities and social partners for the successful integration of migrants. Both speakers advocated reinforcing a more positive narrative on migration as the current narrative is almost entirely focused on border management and irregular entries. They strongly condemned recent human rights violations at the EU's external borders.
The outcome of the forum will be shared on the event website and on the Platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which enables people from across Europe to share their ideas and help shape our common future.
- 4 November 2021