"Voices in Motion" - Migrants tell their story
As part of a cooperation between the Stuttgart and Madrid foundation offices, the German premiere of the documentary "Voices in Motion" took place in the Baden-Württemberg capital, followed by a panel discussion on the topic of European immigration policy. There was a debate between Hans Dieter Scheerer, migration policy spokesperson of the FDP/DVP parliamentary group in the state parliament of BW, Odilia Abreu, senior project manager of FNF Madrid, and Dr. Martin Kilgus of the United Nations Association Germany.
"Voices in Motion" - Documentary Film
The film tells the stories of people with a migration background in Spain from their perspective. In doing so, the documentary addresses the experiences of young entrepreneurs and shows the relevance of equal opportunities, especially for young people. On the other hand, the documentary also shows how a society has to act in order to enable successful integration. People should accept diversity and those with an immigrant origin into society.
However, the difficulties lie deeper than just acceptance in a society. On the way to successful integration, migrants encounter many challenges. At first instance, language barriers are a challenge, but so is the poverty from which people start out. Therefore, it is vital to provide language courses, better education and cooperation with universities and companies to enable successful integration.
Perspectives for a European Asylum and Immigration System - Discussion
In a discussion on European immigration policy, Hans Dieter Scheerer (MdL), Odilia Abreu and Dr. Martin Kilgus discussed the future handling of migration in the EU. Odilia Abreu started the discussion by reporting on the situation in the Mediterranean countries. She also pointed out the differences to the German perspective on migration. Dr. Kilgus then reported from the perspective of the UN on what is important in dealing with migration and that we are dependent on migration, especially in European countries. He highlighted the challenges migrants face on their escape and that human traffickers will often bring them to Western countries with false promises. They often go into debt for passage to the EU, making themselves financially dependent on the traffickers. If they then cannot quickly pursue a job, this increases the chances of criminal activity. Thus, the EU must also better communicate the reality of the situation in European countries, in order to fight against the misinformed portrayal of the traffickers. Dieter Scheerer then explained the liberal perspective on migration, and emphasized its necessity. He classified the EU asylum compromise and criticized the bureaucratic procedures in Germany. Protocol informs asylum seekers about their prospects of staying in Germany at a late stage, and then they cannot directly enter the job market. These concerns from the audience made it clear how important it is to reduce bureaucracy and to have a concept for integration.
The event highlighted both the similarities and the differences in dealing with migration in Europe. Through the documentary film, the Spanish made their perspective clear, and the migrants were able to explain their point of view. In the discussion that followed, it became obvious where Germany needs to improve. Another point of contention was the liberal view of the topic, about how integration is necessary, especially when it comes to working life.