The final public event of the UMN project in Sofia was the international conference organized by the partners CITUB and SDA on 27 September 2022. The conference gathered representatives of local and international organizations – public bodies, NGOs, employers – for a constructive and insightful dialogue on the challenges to integration of TCN in Sofia and in Europe. Welcome addresses were delivered by the president of CITUB, Mr Plamen Dimitrov, N. L. Narasimha RAO, UNHCR Representative in Bulgaria, Ms. Malina Edreva, municipal councilor and chair of the Standing Committee for Culture, Education and Cultural Diversity at Sofia Municipal Council, Deputy Chair of the EU Committee of the Regions and Mr. Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary ETUC. ( here is the link of the video from Ludovic.)
International guests and project partners from Slovenia ,NSDS – Sonja Sarac, and Belgium, Le Monde des Possibles ASBL – Didier Van der Meeren also attended, sharing interesting ideas about TCN social and labor integration. Speakers emphasized the need to setting up mechanisms for assisting refugees and person with temporary protection (refugees from Ukraine), which guarantee not only the access to jobs and services, but ensure that TCNs enjoy their rights, are not discriminated against, and have the resources to build decent lives for themselves and their families.
A representative of the Lithuanian trade unions, Janina Matuiziene, drew attention to the migrant wave of citizens from Belarus.
From the OSCE, Teresa Albo, presented the migration from the Western Balkans to the EU member states and emphasized the need to respect their rights as well, because taking away their rights actually leads to taking away our rights.