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Migration: Athens, European meeting on asylum seekers. Catholic associations there too

(Brussels) The sixth plenary meeting of the Advisory Forum of the European Asylum Support Office (Easo) started in Athens today. Over two hundred delegates of civil associations and people working in some capacity in the homing and support of asylum seekers have met in Greece just to speak of the EU programme for relocation of asylum seekers, launched in 2015, and of the “hotspots”, where migrants who seek asylum are identified. “If we want to address the refugee crisis in all its dimensions, we need an approach that involves the whole of society”, stated the EU commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, as he opened the meeting. “The opinion of civil society is extremely important for the development and definition of working procedures” in politics, added the Greek deputy minister for migration, Ioannis Balafas. The meeting is chaired by a group of experts in participatory techniques, because the meeting wants to act as a place “for interactive discussions, where people may be personally involved to put forward issues to exchange views about and to share ideas and good practices”, the organisers explain. The list of participants includes the Jesuit Refugee Service, the International Catholic Migration Commission (Icmc) and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (Ccme).

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