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First seminar of the RAD 2014 program: Invisible Faces of Irregular Migrations in the Western Balkans

February 20, 2014 10:00 am | February 23, 2014 12:00 pm

Hotel "Tami Residence"
Niš, Serbia

Hotel Tami Residence, Niš

RAD 2014 First Seminar Nish – Agenda

We kick off our year 2 program with a subject that has, in time, become controversial in all of our societies: one of migration(s). In the region of Western Balkans, the debate surrounding decisions made by the elites in the field of justice and home affairs remains – in general terms – highly politicized and seen almost exclusively through the perspective of eventual EU membership. Same can be said for the main topic of our upcoming seminar.

As no real debate is being led on migration issues, no sustainable solutions are being presented: instead, authorities seem satisfied with simply copy-pasting standards written in the EU’s acquis. Region is faced with what is essentially a twofold problem: the fact that Western Balkans presents one of the sources of irregular migration, especially in the light of Roma population seeking temporary comfort in the EU countries makes it suspect to ever present threat of suspending the visa-free regime granted in late 2009; and, secondly, to Balkans being what it has actually been for ages – corridor for migrants, people in transit – seeking asylum and thus permanent solution for their economic (and other) woes.

We felt it would be suiting to host our inaugural seminar in Nis (Nish) for several reasons. First, Nis is in Serbia, a country which is facing strong pressure to improve handling of its borders in order to curtail irregular migration reaching the EU. Second, it is home to a sizeable population of Roma citizens, who are among the most vulnerable groups in Serbian society in terms of access to labor market. And third, it is on the Corridor 10, transport artery leading to Central and Western Europe.

RAD has attempted to bring some of the most vocal – and influential – advocates of a stronger action (and reaction) in order to engage the problem of irregular migration, in way which is not only restrictive, but also humane: respecting the very basic, yet fundamental rights that must be guaranteed to all migrants. For this reason, upcoming seminar will be organized in close cooperation with Symbiosis, Group 484 and YuRom Center.

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