Over the course of the 23rd Annual Volonteurope Conference in Malta, participants from across Europe debated the complex issues surrounding EU enlargement and migration. Following talks from experts in the field, participants took part in roundtable discussions and produced a series of recommendations aimed at NGOs, national governments, European institutions, the media and the public at large:

Roundtable 1: Fundamental Rights of People in Enlarged Europe

Complexity of Migration Issues: Safeguarding Fundamental Rights in Europe

  • Provide clarity of rights and obligations of different categories of individuals within the EU in order to respect access to all human rights
  • Establish better access to effective remedies in case rights are infringed
  • Carry out more projects to support social development in Serbia and other countries providing support to families of children with disabilities
  • Integrate victim centred return procedures in national referral systems
  • EU states should collaborate more with trafficking victims’ countries of origin to provide support and agree on a common identification of trafficking systems

Roundtable 2: Impact of Migration and Enlargement on Social Cohesion

Challenges and Stereotypes: Public Services, Health and Social Care Provision and Wellbeing

  • Improve  quality and quantity of aid provided to migrants and refugees to ensure a better  standard of living
  • Improve communication systems between EU countries to accommodate and provide a higher standard of life for migrants; an understanding of the volume of migration will help prevent services and facilities from being overwhelmed
  • There should be a framework that should be known throughout the EU that shares common links with AERP
  • Improved web services such as NHS citizen would be more beneficial for those with particular illnesses such as cancer
  • Ensure that migrants feel safe in their environment; integration into the general population is likely to decrease stress; asking what refugees want will support motivation, movement into work

Roundtable 3: Challenges to Mobility and Migration

Mobility Makes Europe Possible: The Role of Partnerships to Promote Tolerance, Fight Xenophobia and Racism

  • Recognise the contribution of mobility and migration to development and make it visible at all levels
  • We have identified four different models of approaching the phenomenon of migration and the challenges in the UK, Spain and Italy
  • There are different challenges related to migration in different EU countries
  • Civil society has an important role in raising awareness to fight xenophobia and racism, and facilitating integration and improving language skills

Roundtable 4: Impact of Enlargement on Civil Society and Volunteering

Universal Civic Service: Strengthening Civil Society and Ensuring Equality in Europe

  • Establish a civic service in every EU country
  • Establish the value of volunteering across the EU
  • To have an accessible civic service we need training and support for hosts and volunteers
  • Employers need to work together with volunteering organisations to understand the value of skills gained in volunteering