Joint Action Day in Brussels – 20th of March 2017


                 RISE network denounces the EU-Turkey deal for its 1st anniversary

On Monday, 20th of March the RISE network gathered in Brussels to call on canceling the EU-deals, to drop the Dublin regulations and revise the Common European Asylum System.

The day started with the RISE launch event, where the network members had the opportunity to present the vision and objectives of the network to an audience composed of NGO representatives and members of local refugee communities. The network presented the work already achieved as well as future activities. Furthermore the goals and activities of the 4 working groups (labour market, accommodation, integration and campaign) have been introduced by the coordinator’s group. The idea of the working groups is to foster the network members’ engagement and their sense of ownership towards the network. The labour market group aims at creating a database to assess refugees’ skills and to match the skills with the demands of the labor market. The accommodation group will design a website, which reveals the diverse accommodations conditions in Europe by collecting pictures, testimonies, videos etc. The integration group focus on fostering the link between newcomers and members of host community by organizing events, meetings and seminars where they have the opportunity to get to know each other, to reduce prejudices and to promote a peaceful coexistence. Finally the campaign group is raising awareness of different prevailing policies for refugees in Europe. Through a series of informative posters ONE EUROPE – DIFFERENT POLICIES – UNEQUAL RIGHTS FOR REFUGEES, the RISE network wants to draw attention to the worrisome situations refugees face but also to solutions and best practices shared by the network.

The 2 groups Common European Asylum System, Dublin and EU-Deals presented their main issues and gave a short overview of what cases they will presented during the meetings with members of the EU Parliament. The focus of the first group was mainly on the Dublin regulation and how it affects refugees’ lives, revealing the inhuman and bad treatment in Europe, the unequal allocation of refugees within European countries, and the fear of being sent back to the country they first entered in Europe. The group suggested to drop the Dublin regulation and instead proposed to create one common, human and fair asylum application procedure. The group EU-deals denounced the current deals that the EU arranged with several third countries. It’s about externalization of European borders. Based on collected cases the network reveals the consequences of these deals focusing especially on minors and women.

After the launch event the network members had the opportunity to attend short briefings held by the coordinator of the Asylum Information database and by a political advisor of the European Parliament regarding the newest developments of the Common European Asylum Systems, Dublin, EURODAC and the Asylum Procedures Directive. The current political atmosphere in the Parliament was discussed while the political advisor suggested to the network members to approach Parliament members of their countries and to focus on cases and testimonies rather than on a technical level.

Representatives of the 2 groups Common European Asylum System, Dublin and EU-Deals had the opportunity to talk with members of the Parliament and to report on cases, testimonies, which they had collected, exposing the practical consequences for people under Dublin regulation as well as for the victims of the deals by being returned to their countries of origin. The Parliament members listened carefully and encourage the network members to send them all their cases of deported refugees and what happened to them after deportation.

Before attending the roundtable on 1st anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal, organized by Human rights watch, the RISE network gather in front of the EU Parliament with posters to raise awareness in public. Several representatives from the civil society as well as members of the Parliament were invited and discussed the legal and humanitarian impact of the EU-Turkey deal for refugees. The RISE network had the opportunity to declare its opinion on Eu-deals namely denouncing these inhumane deals by revealing their consequences  with focus on gender issues.

To sum up it can be stressed that the Joint Action Day was a great experience for the network and crucial to foster the team building process within the network members. RISE is composed by members with different expertise and competences, which makes it very rich and diverse. The idea of having different working groups within the network is very crucial in order to strengthen the network members’ sense of ownership, to foster their commitment, to engage them in their field of expertise and to create a space to develop their capacities.

“The project RISE is part of Advocate Europe, the European idea challenge by MitOst in cooperation with Liquid Democracy, funded by Stiftung Mercator”

March 28, 2017