Event Invitation: Assessing the Baseline for Latvia's Asylum Policy

Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS and UNHCR Regional Representation in Northern Europe invite all those interested - partner organizations, public institutions, academia, NGOs, migrant organizations and beneficiaries of international protection themselves - to participate in a conversation about asylum policy in Latvia and accross Europe.

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Currently, the number of asylum seekers is the highest in Latvia’s recent history - in 2017 alone around 300 people received status of international protection. But is Latvia well equipped to provide such support? How does it compare to the rest of the EU?

The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) is a six-years long transnational project, which looks for answers to these questions. It aims to prepare key actors in the integration field in 15 EU Member States to better face the current challenges and improve the integration outcomes of beneficiaries of international protection.

We invite you to take a look at and discuss the first results from the project.

Time: 30 October / 11:00-13:00
Venue: Rainis' and Aspazija's House

11:00-11:30 … Comparitive Assessment Across Europe
Alexander Wolffhardt, Integration Policy Analyst at MPG
11:30-12:00 … NIEM: Latvia National Report
Agnese Lāce, Senior Policy Analyst at PROVIDUS
12:30-12:30 … NIEM: Lithuania National Report
Giedrė Blažytė, Researcher at Diversity Development Group
12:30-13:00 … Questions and Answers / Discussion

You can register for the discussion here.

Background Information

Latvia has stepped on the road of developing a refugee reception and integration policy rather recently. That was the first comprehensive policy planning document, closely linked with the duration of the EU Relocation Program. However, with joining the EU Relocation Program in response to the so-called 2015 crisis, the government of Latvia also developed an action plan for refugee reception and socioeconomic inclusion. That was the first comprehensive policy planning document, unfortunately in force only for the duration of the EU Relocation Program. Currently, the number of asylum seekers is the highest in Latvia’s recent history - in 2017 alone around 300 people received status of international protection. With being an external border country of the EU and seeing an increase in land border crossings, Latvia will continue to experience the arrival of asylum seekers. In addition, those who were involved in secondary movement within the EU are now returning to Latvia and will be in need of support as well.

But is Latvia well equipped to provide such support and how does it compare to the rest of the EU?

This question will be answered by the research project The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism or NIEM. It is a six-years long transnational project, which aims to prepare key actors in the integration field in 15 EU Member States to better face the current challenges and improve the integration outcomes of beneficiaries of international protection. More than 150 NIEM indicators build and expand on the current EU integration standards and cover different areas and types of expertise, various stakeholders and diverse types of evidence.

In addition, the project publications try to tackle key questions for asylum policy makers. Are EU standards on integration of beneficiaries of international protection well implemented? How are they impacting integration policies? Are policies aimed at beneficiaries of international protection having an impact on successful integration? What are the challenges and good practices, and which policy gaps need to be addressed?

This event will host three presentations. First, a presentation by Migration Policy Group, one of the leading project partners, will assess the comparative situation in refugee reception and integration across Europe. Second, a detailed insight into the baseline assessment of integration of beneficiaries of international protection in Latvia, which will highlight current achievements and challenges, as well as indicate recommendations for policy change, will be presented by Centre of Public Policy PROVIDUS, while a similar assessment on the situation in Lithuania will be presented by Diversity Development Group. The presentations will be followed by a questions and answers discussion.

The event will take place on October 30 from 11:00-13:00 at Rainis' and Aspazija's House. Registration for the event is available here.

The event is co-organized by Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS and UNHCR Regional Representation in Northern Europe. Language of discussion will be English, with simultaneous Latvian translation provided if necessary.

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