Brussels, 13 October 2017 – For two days last week, directors from 15
JRS national offices in Europe came together with the JRS Europe team for a regional
coordination meeting in Brussels, Belgium. This bi-annual meeting is a key
occasion for JRS in Europe to build our common projects and work to accompany,
serve and advocate for refugees in the region.
“Besides the sharing of information and joint planning on common
projects, this gathering empowers us to pursue of mission with greater strength
and unity. After all, we are here to accompany, serve and advocate with
refugees,” said JRS Europe director Jose Ignacio Garcia SJ.
The programme for the meeting included key updates from each country,
discussion of our projects and advocacy sessions around the externalization of
EU asylum policy and the future of the EU relocation mechanism.
Aspasia Papadopoulou, Senior Advocacy Officer at ECRE, gave us an
overview of the Migration Partnership Framework, highlighting serious concerns
about EU cooperation on migration management with countries that have poor
human rights records such as Libya.
Aidan White, Director of the
Ethical Journalism Network and experienced writer on human rights, news media
and ethics, presented the session “Refugees in the media: dealing with public
opinion”. He highlighted the need for more cooperation between responsible
journalists and civil society, to produce in-depth reporting on human rights
issues, with fairness and objectivity.
The Maison Notre Dame
du Chant D’Oiseau was again the place that hosted our regional coordination
meeting the 3rd and 4th of October, giving us a quiet place to share and reflect
about our work in a good environment close to the heart of Brussels.
The JRS offices participating were JRS France,
JRS Germany, JRS Greece, JRS Hungary, JRS Ireland, JRS Italy, JRS Malta, JRS
Portugal, JRS Romania, JRS South-East Europe, and JRS United Kingdom. The Groupe ignacie des migrations of the
Communauté des Pères Jésuites from Luxemburg, SJM Spain and the Jesuit
Province from Switzerland also took
The next regional coordination meeting will take place in Belgrade in
Besides the sharing of information and joint planning on common projects, this gathering empowers us to pursue of mission with greater strength and unity. After all, we are here to accompany, serve and advocate with refugees.