Activities 2018

5/12/2018, 8th EASO Consultative Forum Plenary Meeting


The President of EKIF, Dr Despina Charalambidou-Solomi, was invited and participated in the 8th EASO Consultative Forum Plenary Meeting on the 5th December 2018 in Brussels.

The event was held at the Blue Point in Brussels. The aim of the meeting was to pool knowledge and to exchange information between the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and civil society. The theme of the 2018’s meeting was to focus on Reception. To this end, a panel composed of key actors working in the field of asylum debated on how to create a reception system able to effectively and efficiently respond to changing inflows.

The afternoon session hosted 5 parallel workshops:

  1. Provision of information to applicants for international protection in the context of reception- led by EASO & FRA
  2. Reception of children – led by EASO, NIDOS, Save the Children and Mediterranean Hope  
  3. Emergency reception provision -led by EASO and Migration Policy Institute
  4. Coordination between different stakeholders involved in reception led by EASO, CLES, CNR IRPPS, Fedasil (tbc)
  5. Reception and society – led by EASO, Eurocities, and representatives from the City of Ghent, Vice-Mayor of Athens and the SPRAR (IT) 
Dr Solomi participated in Workshop 2 Reception of children – led by EASO, NIDOS, Save the Children and Mediterranean Hope.

The 8th EASO consultative Forum Plenary Meeting was opened by statements from

  • Jamil Addou, Executive Director a.i., EASO
  • Simon Mordue, European Commission Deputy Director general for Migration and Home affairs
  • Dirk van den Bulck, Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless persons

For more details on the EASO Consultative Forum, see Website:

9/3/2018 The EU in 2017 

6-7/3/2018, 4th Meeting of the European Migration Forum

The President of EKIF, Dr Despina Charalambidou-Solomi, was invited and participated in the 4th Meeting of the Migration Forum which was held in Brussels between 6-7 March 2018 entitled "Towards a more inclusive Labour Market for Migrants: Seizing the Potential by Addressing the Challenges 


Today sees the opening of the European Migration Forum, a platform for dialogue between civil society, institutions and authorities on the topic of integration of third-country nationals into the labour market 

Held for the fourth consecutive year by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the 2018 Forum has, as its main theme, the challenges and opportunities involved in integrating migrants into the EU's labour markets. 

With the Multiannual Financial Framework for EU finances under preparation, this year's Forum will also focus on current funding opportunities from EU sources to be used for migrant integration. 

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: "It is now time to go beyond the "crisis discourse" about migration we hear every day, and to focus instead on how to turn migration into a real opportunity, for all of us. Now and in the long term. For those who have obtained a legal right to stay into the European Union it is essential, and even urgent, that we now focus on their integration into our societies." 

EESC President, Georges Dassis, said: "The majority of migrants have fled persecution, wars and oppressive regimes. Now they are trying to build a life for themselves in Europe. They deserve a new life and that's why we must always promote solidarity and help them achieve normalcy in their lives – among other things, by integrating them into the labour market." 

"Migration must be seen as an investment for the future. We sometimes tend to forget what Europe would look like without migration, and we focus on numbers instead of the advantages of an inclusive society. Migration must also be seen as a means to tackle the challenges presented by our ageing population and as a response to the demands generated by new forms of work which require new skills", argued Mr Dassis. 

Spanning over two days – 6 and 7 March, the Forum will give the floor to more than 120 civil society organisations from across the European Union, as well as to representatives from local and regional authorities, Member States and EU institutions. 

Their discussions will touch upon many aspects of the labour market inclusion of migrants, such as the need to promote regular employment and decent work, to prevent exploitation and tackle discrimination, the importance of skills validation and development, encouraging entrepreneurship amongst migrants, and many other issues. 

According to 2016 figures, the unemployment rate for migrants born outside the EU was 16.2%, as compared to 7.8% for the native-born population. The evidence suggests that the skills and qualifications of third-country migrants, in particular migrant women, are greatly underused in local labour markets across the EU. 

The full programme is available here. Plenary parts of the forum are webstreamed. 

Follow: @EurMigrForum #EMF4