Linking-In Newsletter - Issue 3, July 2012

The EU Resettlement Skills Share Day - 14 and 15 May 2012, Brussels

The Skills Share Day brought together some 200 policy makers and practitioners in refugee resettlement from 26 countries, including the EU Commissioner and the Director General for Home Affairs, representatives from European governments as well as representatives from Australia, Japan, Thailand and the US, international organisations, regions, cities and NGOs. Refugees who were resettled from across the world to the EU played an important role in the conference, sharing their first-hand experience of this important protection tool and solution for tens of thousands of refugees every year. The EU Resettlement Skills Share Days offered a forum to share good practices and expertise, through both plenary sessions and smaller workshops. It also aimed to engage existing and new actors to contribute to the further development of the EU Resettlement Network.  

EU Resettlement Network

The new EU Resettlement Network provides a framework for actors from EU institutions, governments, NGOs, regions, cities, municipalities - and resettled refugees themselves - to develop resettlement capacity, knowledge and practice across Europe, in the context of the new joint EU Resettlement Programme and the establishment of new resettlement programmes in Member States including Belgium, Germany and Bulgaria.

World Refugee Day - 20 June 2012 - Lunch event, Brussels, Belgium

For many years, European municipalities, cities and regions have provided the welcoming, safe and supportive communities in which resettled refugees can begin their new lives as European citizens. Many others are beginning their resettlement journey, or considering their participation in resettlement in the near future. Our lunchtime programme of speakers and short films introduced refugee resettlement in Europe, highlighted the successes of cities and regions in advocating for more and better resettlement in Europe and presented the opportunities for city and regional involvement in ICMC’s SHARE city network and the wider EU Resettlement Network.

Multi-stakeholder meeting - 19 June 2012 - Sofia, Bulgaria

On 19 June, the State Agency for Refugees at the Council of Ministers, the Bulgarian Red Cross and the UNHCR organized a stakeholder meeting on Refugee Resettlement in Sofia. At the meeting the Bulgarian government announced it will resettle a group of 20 refugees in 2014 and the meeting was intended as the start of the planning process for the Bulgarian resettlement effort including the integration of the resettled refugees. The agenda specifically focused on the development of the Bulgarian integration plan that will not only cover resettlement but integration of recognized asylum seekers as well.

Look & Learn Visit - 11-14 June, Copenhagen, Denmark

During June 11-14 2012, ICMC Europe - together with the Danish Immigration Service, Danish Refugee Council and the municipalities of Faxe and Faaborg - organised a ‘look and learn’ visit to Denmark for participants from new and emerging resettlement countries.

Belgium resettles in 2013

In the framework of the Joint EU Resettlement Programme adopted in March 2012 and through which the EU wants to strengthen its commitment to resettlement, State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Maggie De Block announced that Belgium will provide a new home for 100 refugees in the course of 2013.