05 April 2017
|JRS Europe family photo after a successful coordination meeting in Zagreb, Croatia (Photo: Oscar Spooner / JRS Europe).|
|This is a time of growth and cooperation. We share a strong common vision for refugees in Europe and we are working together to achieve that.|
“We see JRS offices in Europe rising to the challenge of increased needs for refugees in Europe as a whole. Many JRS teams are growing such as in the UK and in France, some teams are new such as in Serbia and other teams are learning from bilateral exchanges, such as those between Portugal and Greece.
This is a time of growth and cooperation. We share a strong common vision for refugees in Europe and we are working together to achieve that,” said JRS Europe director Jose Ignacio Garcia SJ after the meeting.
The programme for the meeting included key updates from each country, advocacy sessions around the Common European Asylum System reform proposals and alternatives to detention, and group work on the JRS Europe strategic plan.
A highlight for participants was a visit to the reception centre for asylum seekers near Zagreb on 28 March in the afternoon. There were presentations by JRS staff working in the centre and by the director of the centre, followed by a tour and time to speak with the refugees staying there. Several directors were also interviewed by Croatian journalists about the situation of refugees in Europe.
Director of JRS South-East Europe, Tvrtko Barun SJ, said “It was a pleasure to host the coordination meeting and to welcome colleagues from all over Europe to Croatia.”
The Spiritual-Educational Centre Mary’s Court run by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul with Lužnica baroque manor, its lake and green grounds as a peaceful backdrop, provided the perfect setting for reflection during the meeting which ran from 27 to 29 March.
The next regional coordination meeting will take place in Brussels in the autumn.
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