Zdjęcie: Mateusz Mękarski

The 4th Forum for Cooperation and Integration has come to an end – thank you for your participation!

May 7, 2024 | News
Share article

The leitmotif of the fourth Forum for Cooperation and Integration, a meeting of dozens of NGOs from all over Poland working on behalf of migrants, was cooperation with government administration. This was another thematic area that the Forum participants had the opportunity to look closely at. The leading theme of the first Forum was cooperation with international organizations, the second – with business, and the third – with local governments.

Nearly 70 leaders from various organizations from all over Poland met on April 18-19 at the Gromada Hotel in Warsaw. The meeting was organized in cooperation with Migration Consortium partners: Google, Pathways International, Ashoka Foundation Poland and Open Society Foundations.

On the first day, the meeting began with an introduction to migration policy – a document currently being worked on at the Ministry of the Interior and Administration. According to the planned schedule, the first version of the document will be known this autumn, and it will be preceded by surveys prepared by the scientific community (the Migration Research Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences). In the meantime, we are still facing the elections to the European Parliament, which are important from our point of view, and which may be crucial in creating migration policy for the entire European Union. As the Migration Consortium, we will conduct pro-frequency activities ahead of these elections in cooperation with other European organizations affiliated within the Solidar coalition.

In addition to reflecting on migration policy, those attending the Forum discussed the most urgent advocacy demands. Among them was the issue of the project for Foreigners’ Integration Centers, which Anna Dabrowska of Homo Faber recently wrote about – we recommend this reading (in Polish). Other topics discussed included the draft amendments to the law on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with the armed conflict. Comments on these laws were prepared by The Ukrainian House, Polish Migration Forum, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, The Association for Legal Intervention and Nomada Association. You can read them here.

The second part of the first day was devoted to two lectures by our partners. Joanna Kucharczyk-Jurgielewicz of the Ashoka Foundation introduced us to what social change is and what tools can be used to document it. She answered questions about why it is worth doing it at all – for image reasons, fundraising reasons, as a basis for further knowledge sharing or scaling the organization. Dorota Wanat of Pathways International, in turn, talked about the “community sponsorship” model in various countries around the world. On what potential this model has in Poland, what opportunities and threats there are for it. The “community sponsorship” model is a comprehensive model for supporting refugees in building a life in a new country.

On the second day of the Forum for Cooperation and Integration, we hosted Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of the Interior and Administration Prof. Maciej Duszczyk and Director of the Department of Social Integration at the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy Bartłomiej Potocki. The conversation, which was moderated by Anna Dabrowska, concerned the current direction of creating a migration policy for Poland. The next steps of the work on this document were outlined. There was a theme of integrating integration policies into migration policy, the issue of the project of Foreigners’ Integration Centers or the difficult situation in centers for foreigners was raised. Minister Maciej Duszczyk emphasized what has repeatedly appeared in his various public statements – Poland will not pursue a liberal migration policy, but appropriate structures and respect for human rights are needed. Thus, he pointed out the closest migration model that fits Polish conditions in his opinion: the Austrian-Swiss one. 

At the end of the Forum, Agata Bluj and Marcin Górecki from the Stocznia Foundation conducted a workshop on “Social Participation and Migration Policy for Poland”. The workshop prepared the Forum participants to actively participate in the consultation of this document. We would like to thank the Stocznia Foundation very much for their valuable guidance and substantive comments. We concluded the Forum by determining the next steps of further cooperation between organizations, including the election of representatives to the working group on developing recommendations for migration policy.

A huge thank you to all those who participated in the Forum. Thanks to such meetings, we continue to strengthen our relations, we constantly exchange knowledge and are aware of the form of activities of our organizations in different parts of Poland. Our work is complementary, we fill gaps where we see them and develop our competencies. New acquaintances, experiences and simply time spent together become the traditional result with which everyone finishes the Forum and returns to daily work. And for this we thank you very much.

Share article