BALKAN CIVIC ACTIVISTS DEBATE MIGRATION IN SOFIA
Sofia Development Association (SDA) hosted on July 5, 2019, a group of 27 young civic activists and media representatives from the Western Balkans who came to a study visit organised by the Bulgarian School of Politics. The Western Balkans activists aim to gain knowledge regarding the EU pre-accession processes and issues to be addressed. Among those issues SDA put in the agenda migration and third country nationals integration.
The participants met with the Mayor of Sofia Mrs Yordanka Fandakova to discuss local governance and European regions and cities perspective. Following that the Balkan activists worked with INTEGRA Project team to debate questions like should refugees have the right to choose their preferred destination within the EU, should refugees have to go back to their country once it is safe, is there a conflict between helping helping refugees and helping own citizens.
EU migration policy discussion and acceptance is an integral part of the pre-accession preparation of candidate countries and local communities need to be prepared as well.