World-class experts gather at the international round table "Regulation of migration processes in the Eurasian space"
At the event global migration processes taking place on the Eurasian continent, migration related issues such as legal regulation, employment, social and medical provision and adaptation of foreign citizens were discussed. Experts from Russia, Germany, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan presented their countries' strategies on the development of migration policy and shared the most interesting experience of their implementation.
In his welcoming speech, RUDN Rector Vladimir Filippov, said: "Peoples' friendship university of Russia is a university that has been dealing for many decades with migration problems in different countries of the world, as it is the only university where students from different countries of the world study every year. Today we have to prepare recommendations for our countries on the use of the best practices." He told about a large-scale conference planned at the end of November this year, which could develop specific recommendations based on the experience of other countries, and especially drew attention to such significant aspect of migration policy as migrants’ rights, including children's rights.
Lyudmila Bokova, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction told how parliamentarians elaborate migration policy principles: "As for migration policy, we proceed from the fact that Russia is a multinational state, and it is clear that our history is linked with the history of our neighbors in the Eurasian space ... Over time, Russia's borders have changed, but the essence of the national policy based on integration processes has not changed. Therefore, Russia's future is inconceivable without a single unified economic space with its interaction with the CIS countries and the Eurasian Economic Union as a whole. "
Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees
Mr. Boček, how useful is Russia's experience for the European Union in migration processes management?
The experience of each state can be useful, I think that sharing experience gives us additional advantages in exchanging good practices and formats.
What is in your opinion the most important factor for migrants’ integration into society?
If you want to integrate migrants into society, you have to fulfill three conditions: first of all - language; secondly - education and finally, work in the country. These are three steps that have to be made by migrants themselves, but there is also a host society or a majority of the population. And this is where they have to receive migrants, and work should be done on both sides.
Hans Dietrich von Löffenholz, ex-head of the research department of the Federal Office for Migrants and Refugees (BAMF), Germany
How do you assess the possible contribution of the Russian experience in the field of migration for the European Union and Germany in particular?
It is a very important issue, and I believe that Russia can make a significant contribution to the development of the principles of migration policy and the solution of migration problems, including the European Union. Russia has become a major donor state and a recipient of migrants in the past 20-30 years, and has accumulated a vast experience in the field of migration, including illegal migration and integration of migrants in several areas, such as integration into the labor market and integration of families of migrants and their children into the education system. And I think that we can adopt many Russian practices and share experiences with different countries to learn more about each other.
You mentioned the topic of integration; in your opinion, what is the most important factor for the integration of migrants into society?
The most important point when it comes to the integration of migrants is the labor market. The labor market is the most important tool for migrants and their families to receive income and work on equal terms with local residents, and it is necessary not only for the migrants themselves, but for the society as a whole. In other words, if you do not integrate migrants into the community, you incur colossal expenses for their "non-integration". Therefore, it is important to organize labor markets to increase their absorbing capacity for hiring migrants.
Mr. Löffenholz, this is not your first visit to Russia and it is not the first time that you have taken part in such events organized by RUDN; how do you assess the progress that has been made?
Progress is very substantial and rapid: when I first came to Russia to a conference on migration, we exchanged information on different countries, including Germany and the European Union, Russia and the CIS. We also exchanged more accurate statistics and research results on migration and integration. And now it is easier for us to determine the most significant factors and indicators for the integration of migrants into recipient societies, for example, Germany and the European Union. Since the moment I first came to Russia in 2015, the challenges have become even more serious due to the migration crisis that has come to Europe from the Middle East, Syria and nearby countries that are involved in conflicts. And this is a huge challenge not only for the European Union, but also for Russia and other states.
Caroline Galaсteros (Doctor of political science, Director of strategic consulting company "Planeting", France)
Ms. Galacteros, how useful can Russia's experience in the management of migration processes be for the European Union?
I believe that Russia has a huge experience, so it can be very useful, especially in the framework of such a large event, because at the moment Europe has very complex and profound problems with migrants, but Russia has been able to overcome all these problems for the last at least thirty years after the collapse of the USSR. It is especially important for us to understand how to strike a balance between the sovereignty of the state and human rights. After all, we all have the same problem - to find a balance between being humans and preventing the processes of disintegration of our states.
As for the fears of disintegration, what is, in your opinion, the most important factor for the integration of migrants into society?
It is a difficult question, let me think ... I think that the Russian example is very interesting, because you successfully combine factors of language, civil culture, and labor market, while for example in France we definitely have a problem with this, because we welcome migrants, and then they, first, do not find a job and do not even seek to find it. Secondly, we do not require language proficiency, and as a result they quickly begin to unite with each other and form communities, which is pretty bad. We need to demand from migrants that they do not remain in their own communities demanding from us something we cannot give.
What are your impressions of this round table?
This is a very impressive event. Although I have already been at events on migration several times, today's round table is full of states and experts in the field of migration. Especially there are a lot of experts from Eastern Europe, and I'm happy to build friendly relations with them. I hope everyone will have an opportunity to express their position. In addition, some of today's presentations are amazing, especially the iconography that showed the movements of migrants between countries and regions - the scale of the movements is even a little scary!
The meeting resulted in the identification of the main activities of the EU and CIS countries in the field of migration policy, such as legislation, social and medical provision, adaptation and integration of foreign citizens.
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