Beyond the Short-term Horizon

Minutes, conclusions and recommendations from the international expert workshop, Belgrade, 10-11 March 2016

Mixed migrations and development

Beyond the Short-term Horizon

International expert workshop “Beyond the Short-Term Horizon: Addressing the Refugee and Migrant Crisis was organized by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE) and the Association for South East Europe (SOG) from Munich, with the support of the Open Society Foundation, Serbia, and within German presidency of the OSCE in 2016.

Conflicts that occur in weakened states of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia (Libya, Syria, northern Iraq, Afghanistan), forced millions of people to move. We are witnessing massive and complex migrations along the “Balkan route” and across the Mediterranean, which probably has not been seen since 1945. Among these people are refugees fleeing from war-torn Syria and northern Iraq, as well as economic migrants. What these men have in common is the search for a better and safer living conditions.

There are several “triggers” for migrant crisis, which began in 2015. The EU has failed to offer a comprehensive response to the situation, taking into account the different views the state of the Union. For countries of South East Europe, priority was to expedite the passage of migrants through their territory.

In the conditions of migrant crisis, a wide range of organizations and initiatives of civil society found themselves in a position to address this problem. Of providing direct assistance to awareness campaigns, showing solidarity with “people on the move”, the volunteers were trying to make up for what was lacking in the response of the government and the international community.

Our goal was to work together with a carefully selected group of decision makers, representatives of international organizations, civil society and independent experts of countries that are on the “Balkan route” and its immediate environment, suggest the first steps towards sustainable solutions in terms of:

  • humanitarian dimension;
  • political implications;
  • security risks and
  • wider implications for the region of Southeast Europe.

Notes and conclusions of discussions at the workshop served as a basis for proposals of measures and policies, with the idea that during 2016 these will be presented in several European capitals.

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