SOLIMED Participation Report of the Bridging Peoples

solimedThe Municipality of Valencia co-organizined  a Euro Mediterranean Meeting in Solidarity with Refugees (SOLIMED) together with the Regional Government of Valencia (Generalitat) and the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group, at the European Parliament.

The event  took place in the city of Valencia from the 25th to the 27th of November 2016. During the  3 days of meeting there were conferences, workshops and (inter)cultural activities gathering officials of Euro Mediterranean municipalities, NGOs representatives, scholars, activists and journalists from both sides of Mediterranean sea.

One of the key points of the meeting was the fact that the method of ‘fighting’ with the refugee crisis defined by the European authorities have turned the Mediterranean into a refugee cemetery and that everyone who did not take the step to prevent this human corruption was in common. Another point frequently expressed in the meeting was ‘Readmission Deal’ between Germany and Turkey is a violation of the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees. It was emphasized that the classification of refugees through this agreement will greatly deepen the problem. It was stated that we should struggle for a refugee status of not only those who escaped from the war also those who are worried about their future due to economic, cultural and political reasons in their own country .

The proposals for the solution were to create more refugee cities following open-door policy. In this context, it is emphasized that the common point of action should be on the ground of basic human rights. Since the Municipality of Valensia has been already a municipality following an open door policy, it has offered as a model of their coordinated work with NGOs and activist groups. It was discussed that the number of refugee-friendly, anti-fascist, egalitarian cities in Europe must be increased. It is also argued that this increase could change the approach of the European authorities to the refugee problem.

Workshop session on the participation of the our association was on the socioeconomic, political, sociocultural inclusion and integration of immigrants. During the workshop we informed about the position of the Syrians in Turkey and the aims of our association. We have also objected to definition of ‘integration’. A new language and mindset need such as ‘learning to live together’ was defined  by our association. Our association has indicated that the aid projects will not provide the final solution of refugee problem. Our solution proposal was that basic human rights such as free, equal, right to health and education, right to housing and safe passage have to be provided by the government of country of asylum. We said that way of solution is not charity, we need solidarity and make policy with refugees.

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