On 20 May, ICMPD Turkey and Western Balkans Regional Coordination Office hosted an international webinar on “Cooperation with Civil Society and Municipalities in Migration Management in Turkey and the Netherlands”. The webinar brought together representatives of public authorities, civil society organisations (CSOs) and local administrations from the Netherlands and Turkey to discuss best practices in cooperation in the field of migration management.
The webinar was attended by representatives of the Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), the Dutch Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), the Dutch Council for Refugees (DCR), Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM) and the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT). Participants shared several good examples of cooperation in the field of migration management among public authorities, civil society organizations and local administrations as well as their observations on challenges and suggestions to further improve cooperation efforts.
From the Netherlands, COA briefly explained their role in migration management in the Netherlands; referred to the various areas of their cooperation with civil society institutions in the field of migration, including independent monitoring of refugee and child protection at temporary accommodation centres. Referring to the limitations stemming from the differences in the mandates of the public sector versus civil society to defend the public interest, DCR emphasized the importance of continuous dialogue and transparency for the efficient public sector–civil society cooperation. From Turkey, the DGMM shared their planned work, under the scope of their agenda for promoting social cohesion among refugee and host communities, targeting civil society and municipalities. Later ASAM, the largest CSO in Turkey active in the field of asylum and migration, provided information on their services targeting refugee and migrants and talked about their multi-faceted cooperation with public institutions in their refugee response. ASAM referred to the significance of CSOs’ field experience for efficient migration policy development. Finally, UMT provided an overall framework of their capacity building and support activities targeting municipalities in Turkey. UMT drew attention mainly to the financial and capacity building needs of the municipalities in Turkey and suggested that stronger coordination with public authorities would benefit municipal efforts and help improve services targeting refugee and local populations.
The event was concluded by recognizing the different mandates of public actors, local administrations and civil society in the field of asylum and migration, yet emphasising the importance of cooperation and coordination among all these actors for better migration management and the mutual benefit of refugee and host communities.
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