On 22nd of March, Press Conference of the project started with the opening speech of Deputy Governor of Izmir Governorship, Dear Mr. Uğur KOLSUZ. Mayor of Ripalimosani Municipality, Dear Mr. Michele Di Bartolomeo, Anna MariaTrivosonno (the Assessor); President of A.RE.S scarl, Paola Pietrangelo, Maria Raffaella Di Cesare (Administrator), Roberto D’Amico, EU Project Designer; Izmir Field Coordinator of Doctors of the World, Aslı Soysal, Pınar ERDİL (Project Coordinator) and Özlem GÜL (Project General Coordinator) from EU and Foreign Relation Bureau of Izmir Governorship also attended the meeting.
Study Visit- Italian Co-applicants were responsible for the organization of a four-day study visit in Molise Region of Italy. 2 days of the visit covered meetings at the Co-applicants’ premises to learn and observe their services towards the migrants/refugees in the region and visits to other relevant authorities in the Molise Region. The other 2 days were spent for a training on migration management legislative bases in the EU and its implementation in Italy, The Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR), that was made up of the network of local authorities which, for the realization of integrated reception projects, have access, within the limits of available resources, to the National Fund for Asylum Policies and Services, and the main futures of the protection system including authorities, according to a multilevel governance logic; the voluntary nature of local authorities in participating in the network of host projects; etc.
The first day started with the Welcome of the Mayor of Ripalimosani Michele Di Bartolomeo and the city Councilor Annamaria Trivosonno. During the visit, each co-applicant made presentations related to the services provided by their organizations (Social experts from District Governors also made presentations about the aids benefited by the migrants. An expert from the Provincial Directorate of Migration gave statistical information related to migrants located in Izmir and introduced the local migration management policies). The Turkish delegation also visited to "Welcoming Centre of Ripalimosani" and ex-Mayor of Ripalimosani Giuseppe di Fabio presented the activies concerning the migrants especially in terms of social entegration. One of the planned activities was the official welcoming of the Head of Molise Region, Donato Toma and President of Legislative Assembly of Molise Region Salvatore Micone.
A needs analysis have been conducted both in Molise Region of Italy and in Izmir ( in the 5 mostly Syrian Populated districts mentioned) in order to determine the needs and problems of the migrants/refugees on social and economic adaptation and integration to the society they are living in. With respect to the population of migrants/refugees, 2200 people in Izmir were interviewed. At the begining of the project, it was expected to interview with 1000 people in Molise however after the changing policies (Salvini Decree) in Italy, there had been a drop down in the number of the refugees in Italy. So, we could only reach 350 migrants there.
“Local Authorities and Migration Management Policies” Symposium
A symposium was held in Izmir about the roles and responsibilities of local authorities in migration management. 3 speakers from public authorities, universities and NGO’s in Turkey (from Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir) and 2 speakers from the EU institutions working on migration were invited to the Symposium. Also, Izmir Governorship and Municipality of Ripalimosani presented their existing services and studies towards the migrants/refugees in their regions.
The number of the participants was far beyond the expected (70 people were expected to attend for this Symposium from municipalities and district governorships in Izmir, universities, NGOs, Chambers, etc) The symposium was organized by Izmir Governorship at Balçova Thermal Hotel in Izmir. The Italian Co-applicants were able to learn the situation in Turkey and existing services and policies. Both parties learned from each other by sharing good practices in each country.
“Workshop on Migration Management”
The next day of the Symposium a workshop on migration management was held at the same hotel. Approximatly, 60 people attended that workshop from local municipalities , governorships, universities and NGOs in Izmir. Participants were asked to work in groups of 10 (5 round tables) lead by a moderator. Each table had structured questions to work on around speciic themes such as social entegration, economic entegration, local authorities..etc. Each table evaluated the current situation of refugees and discussed the solutions to their social and economic adaptation to the society. Findings of each group were presented. At the end, the results were consolidated, and a workshop report was drafted.
As a result of the learnings from the Study Visit in Italy, needs analysis of the migrants/refugees in Italy and Turkey, Symposium on Local Authorities and Migration Management Policies and Migration Management Workshop, a sustainable migration management needs assessment report will be drafted and be published in1500 copies (350 copies in Italian, 350 copies in English and 800 copies in Turkish). It will be delivered to the local authorities in Turkey and Italy hosting migrants/refugees and will be used as a dissemination and promotion tool for the project outputs at international level.”
Establishing a “Migration Management Cooperation Online Platform”: An online interactive portal was established in order to exchange ideas, search partners for projects, documents and data sharing between local authorities primarily in Turkey and Italy and in the rest of the world, with the main focus on migration. Educational information on migration management was also uploaded on the platform. The content of the platfrom was prepared with the contribution of each Co-applicants.
The project entitled with “Empowerment of the Local Authorities/Administrations in the Management of Migration (Together&Stronger) led by Izmir Governorship EU and Foreign Relations Bureau in cooperation with Ripalimosani Municipality and ARES Scarl From Italy and Doctors of the World from Turkey as the projects partners has been granted by CFCU in the scope of Town Twinning Action Between Turkey and EU Grant Scheme.
Final Conference was organized on 6th January, 2020 at Balçova Thermal Hotel. The programme started with the opening speeches of Head of Department of Project Implementation, Dear Mr. Hakan ATİK and continued with the speech of Deputy Governor, Dear Mr. Uğur KOLSUZ. Then, the event continued with the presentation of Özlem GÜL, Project General Coordinator, who gave a general information about the Project and also launched the “Together&Stronger Online Partner-search Portal” https://www.togetherandstronger.org/ .
Assoc. Prof. Dear Mrs. Ulaş Sunata, Bahçeşehir University, Founding Chair of BAUMUS, introduced “Sustainable Migration Management Needs Assessment Report: Evaluation of Izmir” which was drafted in the scope of the Project. Later on, EU Project Designer, Dear Mr. Roberto D’Amico, ARES Scarl (Co-applicant) shared the “Results of the Needs Assessment in Italy”. Then, Prof. Dr. Dear Mr. Murat Erdoğan, Chair of Turkish German University (Istanbul-Turkey) Faculty of Economics and Administration Sciences Political Science and International Relations Department and Director of TAU Migration and Integration Research Center, made a presentation on “Integration policy of Refugees/Migrants in Turkey”. The programme ended with the presentation of Dear Mr. M. Sinan ÖZDEN, SKL International, RESLOG-Turkish National Project Coordinator. He made a speech on “Evaluation of Local Governments' Resiliance and Migration Master Plans”.
The conference ended up with the closing remarks of Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Representative in Izmir, Dear Mrs. Naciye GÖKÇEN KAYA.
Representatives of different organizations such as local municipalities, district governorships, universities and NGOs were invited to attend the conference.
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the organization of the event. Special thanks to Dear Mrs. Naciye GÖKÇEN KAYA (Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Representative in Izmir), Dear Mr. Uğur KOLSUZ (Deputy Governor), Dear Hakan ATİK (Head of Department of Project Implementation) Our district Governors; Dear Mr. Fatih GENEL, Bornova District Governor, Dear Mr. Mehmet ERİŞ, Konak District Governor, Dear Mr.Ercan ÖTER, Torbalı District Governor, Mr. Cemil Özgür ÖNEĞİ, Karabağlar District Governor, Dear Mr. Alper GÜNGÖR, Dikili District Governor, Dear Mrs. Özlem GÖKÇE (Editor in Chief of Izmir), Dear Mr. Ceyhan ÇİÇEK (Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs Representative in Izmir), Project Co-applicants, Municipality of Ripalimosani (Dear Mrs. AnnamariaTrivisonno, Vice-Mayor), ARES Scarl (Dear Mrs. Paola Pietrangello, President), Roberto D'Amigo, Project Designer ARES Scarl, and Doctors of the World (Dear Mrs. Aslı Soysal, Field Coordinator, Pınar ERDİL, Project Coordinator), Bahçeşehir University (Assoc. Prof. Dear Mrs. Ulaş Sunata), Prof. Dr. Dear Mr. Murat Erdoğan, Chair of Turkish German University (Istanbul-Turkey) Faculty of Economics and Administration Sciences Political Science and International Relations Department and Director of TAU Migration and Integration Research Center, Dear Mr. M. Sinan ÖZDEN, SKL International, RESLOG-Turkish National Project Coordinator, Karabağlar District Governorship EU office, Dear Mrs. Pınar ŞENGÜL, EU Office, and social experts of District Governorships, Hüseyin ZEYBEKOĞLU, Akın KAYA, Özden AYTUN, Serdar SEVİM, Deniz ÇATALBAŞ.