Madrid: second seminar on “Migration and development cooperation policies of the European Union and its member countries”

2picm01On 26 September, the International Platform for Cooperation and Migration (IPCM) organised, in the Office of the representation of the European Commission in Spain, the second seminar on “Migration and development cooperation policies of the European Union and its member countries” which was funded by a grant from the European Union Secretary of State (Order AEC 240/2014 dated 18 February). This seminar was intended for the general public and aimed at familiarising Spaniards with the European integration process by facilitating a greater understanding of the common policies on issues of immigration and development cooperation.

Attendees were welcomed by Francisco Fonseca Morillo, Head of the European Commission representation in Spain, who talked about demographics and immigration in Europe, the integration of immigration, migration flows, development policies and the creation of the European identity.

2picm02The next speaker to inaugurate the seminar was María Reina Martín, Vice-President of the International Platform on Cooperation and Migration. Her presentation focused on explaining the Platform, its purpose and the activities it has participated in. She was followed by Josep Calvo García, Treasurer of IPCM and President of the Union of Mediterranean Studies Centres (UCEM), who raised a number of issues about migratory flows in Spain, mainly from the south (Africa) and the east, and the need for a common immigration policy regardless of these people’s country of origin, and the importance of work to integrate them in the host countries.


After this, Jesús Casado Gonzalo, IPCM Secretary and Chairman of the Spanish Centre for Workers' Issues - CEAT, introduced the speech: "The economic context and its influence on migration policies in the European Union and its member countries" by José Ramón Pin Arboledas, Professor of Managing People in Organizations at IESE Business School, University of Navarra. Professor Pin Arboledas spoke about emigration as a “problem or economic solution? the importance of smart immigration policies and respecting human rights.

2picm04After this there was a roundtable discussion on "The migratory policy of the European Union and its member countries," moderated by Maribel Alañón González, Director of the Technical Secretariat of IPCM and Director General of the Fundación Humanismo y Democracia H+D. This informative section addressed both the cooperation and immigration policies being carried out in Europe and focused on the construction of Europe and the fact that all citizens have responsibilities. Verónica Lope Fontagné, member of the European Parliament, Employment and Social Affairs Committee, summarised the immigration policy in the EU, based on three points: border control (Schengen area, right to asylum, fight against illegal immigration and mafias), social and employment policies (integration of regular migration linked to employment, readmission, the EURES network, portability of pensions, directive on displaced workers) and, lastly, the EU’s development policies. In this regard, she stressed that Europe is the world’s largest donor of official development aid through two instruments: the European Development Fund and the Instrument for Development Cooperation in the fight against poverty.

2picm06Pilar Renes de Iruarrizaga, Deputy Director General of the Community of Madrid’s Immigrant Service and Integration Reports, started talking about the Observatory for Immigration and the Regional Forum for Immigration as a source for data collection to reflect the reality of immigration in the Community of Madrid; she stated that the Community of Madrid is working on equal rights and obligations. Following her presentation, the focus was put on the Community of Madrid’s eight Participation and Integration Centres (CEPIs) -which are funded by the European Social Fund- as a tool for immigrant participation and integration. These are spaces aimed at promoting employment, training and offering advice to migrants and nationals. These centres are publicly owned but managed by private entities such as, for example, the Community of Madrid’s Hispano-American CEPI, managed by the Fundación Humanismo y Democracia.

She ended her speech by listing the challenges these centres will face in the future: second-generation immigrants, teaching Spanish, support to associations, prevention of racist attitudes and the continuity of these centre’s work.

2picm07This was followed by María Reina Martín, Vice President of IPCM and General Secretary of the Associação para a Formação, Investigação e Desenvolvimento Social dos Trabalhadores (FIDESTRA), who explained the situation of immigration in Portugal, and, more specifically, what to do with the second generation of immigrants: young people. The High Commission on Migration (ACM) states that it is now becoming necessary to work along two aspects in Portugal: On the one hand, working on the integration of immigrants and, on the other, trying to retain the young people migrating from Portugal since, at present, those who leave are the young people with the best professional qualifications.She then mentioned several examples of what has been done to integrate young people in Portugal, such as the "Escolhas" (Select) Programme, Não alimente o rumor (Don’t feed the rumour), C4i (Communication for integration) and the PPT Programme (Portuguese for All).

2picm08The representative from Italy, María Pangaro, Secretary of the Foreign Workers Association (ALS) and the Christian Workers’ Movement (MCL) works for an institution dedicated to the social inclusion of foreign workers who are legal immigrants. She described the situation of migratory pressure suffered by Italy that originates from North African countries, especially from Libya, in areas of Sicily, Calabria, etc. After the Lampedusa tragedy, Italy launched the Mare Nostrum programme as an emergency mission to patrol the Mediterranean Sea and help the thousands of people trying to reach the country driven by the mafias. Following this initiative, through the European Agency for the Management of External Borders (Frontex), the European Commission launched "Frontex Plus" to manage the massive influx of immigrants in the Mediterranean, which complements what Italy has been doing.

She took the opportunity to ask Europe for more aid to fight human traffickers as Italy cannot embark on this mission alone; it must be accompanied by other European Mediterranean countries, because it can no longer support this massive influx of immigrants.

2picm09After a brief pause, the colloquium on "The European Union and Spain’s development cooperation policies” presented by Guillermo Sandoval, from the International Cooperation and Migration Platform-IPCM. Taking part in this section was Agustín Fernández, Director of the Social Affairs and Public Administration Area of the International and Ibero-American Foundation of Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), who gave an overview of the European Union’s funding instruments for development cooperation.

2picm10After his speech, he gave the floor to Francisco Quesada Benavente, an advisor in the Office of the Secretary General of International Development Cooperation SGCID-MAEC. In his speech, he contextualised the situation of Cooperación Española, , starting from its situation at the beginning of this legislature. He reviewed, among other matters, the Fourth Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2013-2016, the recommendations of the Development Aid Committee’s report, the effectiveness of the aid, etc.



The seminar was brought to a close by Rafael Rodriguez-Ponga y Salamanca, President of the International Cooperation and Migration Platform and President of the Fundación Humanismo y Democracia-H+D, who thanked all the speakers for their participation and the public for their attendance.

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