13 December 2023
Organised and supported by the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), the UTE University in Ecuador, the Regional Government of Andalusia (Spain), the binational cooperation structure Plan Binacional Ecuador, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and MIgration EU programme eXpertise+ (MIEUX+), a Euro-Latin American Seminar on Migration took place in December 2023. With more than a hundred individuals participating both online and in person at UTE University, the primary focus was on exploring the impact of migration and depopulation on border regions, as well as formulating strategies to address this issue across different public levels.
The Secretary General of AEBR, Martín Guillermo Ramírez, opened this event, highlighting the significance of discussing globally impactful topics through a dialogue that include the academy and local public entities. He also emphasized the importance of fostering discussions between Latin America and Europe in these specific problematics.
Following this, conferences were delivered by José Cruz (AEBR) and Mr. Alfred Woeger (MIEUX+, ICMPD). Cruz emphasized the significance of cross-border cooperation as a key tool in shaping public policies within border regions. Woeger concentrated on migration public policies, highlighting the importance of their inclusion as an integral part of development policies, and vice versa.
The regional government of Andalusia presented the work carried out by the Spanish region on migration, while the EGTC Duero-Douro highlighted its cross-border strategy for the provision of shared public services to face depopulation.
These perspectives were further discussed in the experience exchange, where experts from various of the mentioned institutions shared best practices of cross-border cooperation in regions affected by depopulation and projects related to the migration phenomenon and its effects.
Several key aspects emerged consistently throughout the discussions. These can be summarized into three main points. Firstly, the necessity for more data and deeper knowledge, thereby highlighting the importance of involving academia and universities in public discussions. Secondly, the potential for a robust dialogue between Europe and Latin America was not only mentioned but also demonstrated through the positive reception and synergies evident during the event. Lastly, a common understanding emerged that migration phenomenon transcend borders, and the impacts on populations can be similarly on a global scale, as evidenced by comparable realities between municipalities in the Ecuador-Peru and Spain-Portugal borders.
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