PACE today in Lisbon launched the Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies and declared 8 September as the European Day of Diasporas.
The main aim of the network is to promote policy and legislative reforms regarding the role of diasporas in countries of origin and host societies.
Meeting at a conference held by the PACE at the invitation of the Portuguese Parliament, members of parliament from European and southern Mediterranean countries agreed to focus the network’s activities on “empowering parliamentarians to address the needs of diaspora communities and build inclusive societies”.
The network will promote political co-operation between countries of origin and host societies and the democratic participation of diasporas, as well as the role of diaspora associations in the integration of migrants in host communities and enhanced dialogue between members of the network and diaspora associations.
Andrea Rigoni (Italy, ALDE), who was appointed co-ordinator of the network for a one-year period, welcomed its establishment as the outcome of almost 20 years of work by the Assembly in the area of diasporas. “Over the past two decades, diasporas have become key driving forces in passing on democratic experience in their countries of origin. The network is the next stage in the process, the establishment of a mechanism to address practical issues linked to social inclusion together with diasporas,” he said in conclusion.
The network will hold its first meeting in 2018.