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Diaspora Communities and the future of Europe in the world

22 February, 2022 @ 2:30 pm 3:30 pm

LINKS Europe, in collaboration with The City of The Hague, and with the support of The Hague Humanity Hub, cordially invites you to a Round Table Discussion on the theme: Diaspora Communities and the future of Europe in the world. The event is part of the sixth cluster of events in our series, Conversations on the future of Europe in the world, and aims to contribute to the on-going debate across the continent within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The Netherlands, and in particular The Hague, is home to many diaspora communities. While some are a result of decades-long migration waves, others are relatively new, arriving in the last few years. Some communities are well organised having various educational, religious, and civic structures, while others are just slowly starting to organise. Diaspora communities are not always well-represented in decision-making at a local, national and pan-European level, despite being citizens of EU member states.

Some of the challenges that face the EU today, such as radicalisation, an influx of illegal migrants, and civic integration for newcomers, affect the diaspora communities directly, and their voices on these issues often do not reach policymakers at the EU level. Beyond that, diaspora communities are not often part of debate on the future of Europe in the world, being often marginalised to a subservient role of advocates of their “old country” in the “new country”. This opens them to criticism that they may be fifth columnists, and less than loyal citizens. Whilst most often these criticisms are unjustified, they make diaspora communities vulnerable, and less keen to play an active role in the articulation of the EU’s future relationship with the world. This also often means that the important role that diaspora communities can play as bridge-builders to the countries in Europe’s neighbourhood and beyond is often either missed or distorted.

How can this change? How can the EU better engage with its diaspora communities when considering the future of the bloc on the world stage? Is there a role for local and municipal authorities in helping empower diaspora communities to fine-tune their contribution to the wider European debates, especially on foreign, defence and security policy?

After a short introduction to the theme of the discussion all participants will be asked to speak for 2-4 minutes on the topic, preferably from the perspective of the diaspora community that they are coming from. Participants are welcome also to submit longer written presentations, which can be circulated during the meeting. The opinions and ideas expressed in the meeting and in the written presentations will be reflected in a short summary of proceedings, which will be submitted for consideration within the larger Conference on the Future of Europe.

This event will take place 14:30-15:30 on Tuesday, 22 February 2022, at The Hague Humanity Hub. The working language will be English. Registration is obligatory.

The Hague Humanity Hub

Fluwelen Burgwal 58
The Hague, Netherlands
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