Urkullu says Euskadi is “a country ready” to welcome refugees

Lehendakari, Inigo Urkulluaffirmed that Euskadi is “a country united, prepared and activated” welcome refugees, as evidenced by the Basque government’s “Auzolana II” program, a pioneer in the state and which has served as a model for other communities.

This Thursday morning, the international conference on Community sponsorship experience sharing in the field of reception, inclusion and integration of migrants and refugees on European soil, organized by the Department of Equality, Justice and Social Policy.

The Lehendakari, in a video message recorded for the occasion, unable to attend the opening ceremony in person, describes “example of shared responsibility and effort” the work carried out by the entities and organizations that participate in the Auzolana II program.

Iñigo Urkullu explained to the European representation that the term Auzolana refers to the type of collaboration that it aims to “the common good”. “This common good is to welcome refugees and help those in need,” he stressed.

In his speech, Urkullu praised the many humanitarian initiatives that have been launched since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, and stressed that the Basque Country is “a united country, prepared and activated to welcome refugees”.

“We are a country that gives what it would like to receive”It’s finish.

For her part, the Deputy Minister of Social Policy of the Basque governmentLide Amilibia, present at the event, thanked the delegations of Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, United Kingdom and Ireland for their visit to the Basque Country, and for the work they are doing at the head of the Red Part to the attention of refugees and their integration into local societies.

With her, the councilor for cooperation, coexistence and festivities of the Bilbao City Council, Itziar Urtasun, the director of Icmc Europe/Share Network, Petra Hueck, and the UNHCR representative in Spain, Sophie Muller, chaired the opening of the conference. .

One of the main objectives of Red Share is to broaden the commitment to community sponsorships by including regions and cities as active partners. In this regard, Amilibia pointed out that “Basque sponsorship welcomes European sponsorship” Before analyzing some aspects of the initiative framed in this area Auzolana II.

This experience born in 2019 was the first community sponsorship program, organized and led by a regional government. Likewise, the Valencian Community and the Foral Community of Navarre have launched pilot programs within the framework of a similar to that coordinated by the Basque Government.

At European level, the Executive of the Basque Country participates in a European project Share QSN (Quality Sponsorship Network), implemented from January 2021 to June 2023 and co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union (AMIF) , which brings together actors who are currently developing private sponsorship programs in their national contexts.

Commitment to people

The Head of Social Policy explained that “the Auzolana II community sponsorship pilot initiative was launched in March 2019 as part of the commitment of the Basque government with refugees“.

Concretely, five Syrian families from Jordan have started a new life in as many Basque municipalities. “They had never heard talk about Arrigorriaga, Portugalete, Andoain, Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteizbut on March 29, 2019, these municipalities became her refuge,” added the Deputy Minister.

This experiment in the reception and inclusion of migrants and refugees is inspired by a Canadian model and its community sponsorship formula aims for the direct participation of the local population in this objective.

The basis of the program Auzolana II it is the local sponsorship groups and the solidarity of the people who compose them, by becoming a fundamental support for newcomer families who provide them with social, material and financial support to facilitate their adaptation.

In addition, the Board of Governors last Tuesday approved a post of 285,000 euros promote a second edition of Community Sponsorship in Euskadi. Thanks to her, six families of Syrian origin will be able to begin a new experience of reception and living together far from the refugee camps in Lebanon, where they have remained for years.

After yesterday’s visit by the European delegation to the Castaños neighborhood in Bilbao to discover the public resources and voluntary teams that were allocated to the Auzolana II initiativelike the ikastola or the health center, the opportunities and challenges of regions and cities as community sponsors are analyzed today in the sessions.

They will do so around three discussion tables, the first of which will see the participation of Xabier Legarreta, Director of Migration and Asylum of the Basque Government, and Patricia Ruiz de Irizar, Director of Migration Policies of the Navarrese Government.

Subsequently, the second table will deal with the participation of interested parties in Community Sponsorship, in the debate of which he will intervene Pastor Jose de Lamo, General Director of Equality in Diversity of the Generalitat Valenciana. Finally, a third round table will deal with the reception of refugees in emergency situations.

These international conferences will end on Friday with a working session in which the main points of action and axes for strengthening the participation of regions, cities and communities in the Community sponsorship.

Elite Boss

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