2017 Szeptember

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Balkan Refugee Trail

On the 14th of September, 2017


Local Event – Hungary

In 2015, the Western Balkans Route has become the hotspot of European migration flows. In what has been termed among others “European refugee and migrant crisis” an unprecedented number of refugees have made their way through this part of Europe with more than 850.000 people reaching the shores of the EU after perilous sea passages in Greece and making their way through the Balkans and via Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, and Germany.

This sudden and massive flow of population has already had a substantial impact on the domestic politics of most European countries and the EU as a whole. It has generated new tensions and exacerbated pre-existing ones between the member states of the EU, and promises to be critically important for the Union as a whole.

Nearly all of the governments of the European countries were overburdened with this massive flow of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. Without the spontaneous stepping in, self-organization and cooperation of a countless number of NGOs, grassroots initiatives and voluntary helpers in the countries where the refugees passed through or where they applied for asylum, the situation would have been more problematic.

The project wants to follow the Balkans trail of spontaneous civic engagement and explore, if the lessons learned on a grass-roots level can be taken to a European policy level and help shape a European solidarity based on joint values and legal norms (such as the European Convention on Human Rights). Furthermore, it tries to support the momentum of civic engagement by assessing the support needs of civic initiatives and volunteers in order to enable their continued contribution to society. In particular recommendations shall be elaborated to better tackle these needs through various EU programs and strategies.

The venue of the program is National University of Public Service, Orczy Dormitory, Multimedia Rooms A and B (Ground Floor) H-1089 Budapest, 1 Orczy str. Registration for the program is required here.

8.00-8.30                             Registration

8.30-8.50                             Opening remarks:

                                            Interkulturelles Zentrum

                                            National University of Public Service, Faculty of International and European Studies

8.50-9.10                             Migration trends towards Europe 2015-2017 (Viktor MARSAI, NUPS)  

9.10-9.30                             The Hungarian response to the refugee crisis in 2015-2017 (Abdessamad BELHAJ,

                                             Migration Research Institute)

9.30-9.50                             The Balkan as a migration route (Zoltán EGERESI, NUPS)

9.50-10.10                           Q and A

10.10-10.30                         Coffee break

10.30-12.00                         Panel discussion (Moderator: Viktor NAGY)

                                            Herbert LANGTHALER – Asylkoordination Österreich (Austria)

                                            Ursa REGVAR – Legal-informational Centre for Nongovernmental Organizations – 

                                            PIC (Slovenia)

                                            Lea HORVATH - Centre for Peace Studies (Croatia)

12.00-13.00                         Lunch

13.00-14.00                         Workshop – The Way Ahead

                                            Short remarks (Viktor MARSAI: Libya; Viktor NAGY: civil society; Abdessamad BELHAJ:

                                            solutions) and discussion

14.00-14.30                         Conclusions, closing remarks