European Cities Network on Migration

Study Tour and Expert Roundtable
European Cities Network on Migration Study Tour
© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

European Cities Network on Migration has made a study tour followed by an expert roundtable by European Liberal Forum with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom between November 13 and November 18 in Cologne and Brussels.

The delegation included field experts, NGO workers and academics from Turkey, Germany, Spain and Greece. The tour started in Cologne with an introductory seminar on the labour integration system of Germany followed by extensive discussions and practice sharing among the experts and the delegation. Then several visits have been paid to stakeholders of Germany’s labour integration system from public bodies to non-governmental organisations. Participants learned about the system of qualification in the German labour market, integration courses and governmental subsidies for migrant workers for labour market integration. As well as language barriers, local approaches to the integration issue were discussed. 

The second branch of the tour was dedicated to migrants’ integration into the labour market from a general European Union perspective. The tour in Brussels started with a visit to the European Parliament to have a discussion with Mr. Andreas Glück, MEP – Renew Europe Group. He talked about and discussed the Union’s and the Parliament’s approach to the issue of migration and labour integration to the European market’s needs. Following this visit, a workshop has been conducted with the Migration Policy Group. The delegation and the members of the group discussed the performances of different European countries’ success in terms of integration into the labour force. 

Additionally, an expert roundtable with the participation of MEPs, the Commission staff and NGO workers, as well as academics, were organized in European Liberal Forum’s office. The panel included Ms. Abir Al-Sahlani MEP (Renew Group) and Mr. Jan Christoph Oetjen MEP (Renew Europe). They emphasised the fact that the Europe does not have enough people to generate necessary tax revenue, support social security and retirement service hence it needs migration. They talked about the duty of liberals being able to supply the necessary workforce companies need in order to support a vibrant economy. They also discussed the shifting migration trend towards US and Canada.

 After the roundtable, the delegation and the audience had moved to TOBB’s (Union of Chambers of Commerce and Stock Exchanges of Türkiye) Brussels office for the screening of a documentary titled “Life Flourishes Again” by Çoşkun Aral. After the screening, a closing ceremony and reception has been conducted with the delegation and esteemed audience.