Basque Communities Abroad: 6th World Congress, Oct. 2015
The 6th World Congress of Basque Communities Abroad took place in Vitoria-Gasteiz the 7, 8 and 9 of October, 2015, at the Montehermoso Cultural Center (sited at Montehermoso Palace*)
The Congress is held every 4 years by mandate from the Law 8/1994, dated 27 May, regarding relations with Basque Communities and Centers abroad from the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. Its purpose is to promote the gathering and collaboration between Basque communities and centers and Basque institutions and to make possible a space for setting out ideas, debate and exchange of opinions. The conclusions will be the basis for defining the next four-year work plan, until the next Congress.
The program for the 6th Congress were based on the three following themes:
· Generational renewal and the role of women at Basque centers and federations
· The future of Basque centers and federations and their relation with the new Basque emigration
· Cooperation between Basque centers and federations with other diasporas in their countries, as well as opening up to societies where they are present.
Outcome of the World Congress:
“STATE IS TERRITORIAL, NATION IS GLOBAL”
Bill Douglass American expert's closing speech and words from the Lehendakari (President of the Basque Country) Iñigo Urkullu at the Presidential Palace closed the 6th World Congress in the afternoon of October the 9th. One of the major conclusions of the Congress is that although State remains territorial, Nation and national identities have more and more a global scope.
The 6th World Congress of Basque Communities Abroad was inaugurated in October the 7th with a few words from Lehendakari Urkullu at the Montehermoso-Oihaneder Euskararen Etxea Palace in Vitoria-Gasteiz. After an Aurresku (Basque traditional dance), joining the Lehendakari at the head table were, Marian Elorza, Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, Asier Vallejo, Director of Basque Communities Abroad, and Irish expert Kingsley Aikins, who gave the keynote speech and emphasized the idea of the territorial character of the State and the global evolution of national identities.
Euskera (Basque language) and gender equality in Basque clubs were the first topics that opened day two of the 6th World Congress of Basque Communities Abroad. Besides attending the presentations of various books on the Diaspora, delegates also elected three representatives to the Lehendakari’s Advisory Council on Basque Communities.
In the last day, October the 9th, elections were held for three new Basque club representatives on the Advisory Council. Finally, the council may meet in December to discuss topics that were raised during the Congress.
Hungarian initiative for young expatriates
By Mr. István Ujhelyi, member of the European Parliament
Forced migration has been accelerated since the European borders have vanished. Effects of the economic crisis also boosted this phenomenon as more and more people were forced to migrate because of economic reasons. Predominantly from Eastern-Europe (Romania, Hungary, Poland) hundreds of thousands fled to Western-European countries to look for work. Therefore the principles of free movement of workers and free movement of persons must remain a cornerstone of the comprehensive and borderless European value system. The economic crisis – coupled with political crisis at some places – is producing more and more economic migrants, now in a quantity that it becomes extremely hard to handle. They are mainly coming from younger generations leaving their homes not because they seek adventure, not in order to study; but because they are simply seek means of subsistence.
Istvan Ujhelyi is trying to find solution to provide young generations with attractive opportunities at home so literally hundreds of thousands are not forced to migrate. His new, Hungarian socialdemocratic programme, the so-called ‘Homecall-project’ (Hazaváró-program) – tailored to the Hungarian situation – aims to address this challenge. He is in connection with the European Commission, trying to make up a fund, which can help those, who want to get back home and start a new life.
Istvan has launched a so called "virtual client window" in the last month, where he collects the complaints and the proposals of Hungarian expats. We got already more than a hundred e-mails to our address: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we have solved dozens of expat-problems, for example quicker birth registration of expat's children. Istvan would like to organise an advocacy network for the Hungarians abroad Europe, for the first step he has office hours in European cities. He already met with the Hungarians in London, in the following weeks he would have meetings in Berlin, Malta, Wien and Paris with the there-living Hungarians.
Croatian World Congress
Investment conference in Zagreb for Croatian expats
Title: Meeting Second Generation
October 26-30, 2015
Have a good product and want to export it? Have your own project and are looking for a partner? Take the opportunity and register for the Meeting G2.1 Conference to be held in Croatia, which is bringing together more than 50 investors from around the world, including: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Switzerland, USA, Venezuela and Croatia. Registration still open!
Project Director, Mr. Josip Hrgetić, explained the concept of the conference: "We are looking for ways to show entrepreneurs of Croatian decent how to recognize investment possibilities in Croatia. Croatia has a perfect infrastructure although there are problems with its bureaucracy. Croatians are honest, diligent, hard working and proud of their heritage. This is why we came to the conclusion that it would be interesting for the two to be connected."
Ireland: Diaspora Matters
Networking - a key skill in diaspora activities
In thinking of what to send you I wondered might you be interested in something I have developed this year. It is because I think a key skill in Diaspora engagement is Networking. Everybody agrees it is really important but nobody teaches it at school or college nor do companies have strategies for it. Accordingly I have developed a 15module online/offline Networking training programme which is getting great interest from companies and organisations in Ireland and elsewhere. I would of course be delighted were any of your readers have an interest.
See more here: http://diasporamatters.com/
British Community in France
THE BRITISH COMMUNITY COMMITTEE OF FRANCE
The British Community Committee of France (BCC), founded in 1937 (see page 44), represents the British Community in France. It was first registered as a Loi 1901 association on 1 July 1939. It has two categories of members: • associations with a majority British link, whether charitable, educational, religious, social, sporting, professional, etc. • up to 21 individual members of the British Community who are interested in active participation in the co-ordination of British Community activities. Membership is open to associations and individuals throughout France and Monaco. The BCC is the umbrella organisation of British Associations in France at a national level. It operates under the registered logo britishinfrance and publicises the existence of its member organisations so that British citizens in France, or those with British interests, know whom to contact to join. It co-ordinates the activities of the British in France by collecting information on events being organised by member associations, highlighting potential clashes of dates between events, and communicating the list to members. It does not in any way substitute itself for its members in organising events. However, in years when there are major British or Franco-British events – such as the Queen’s 80th Birthday Dinner in 2006, the Queen’s Birthday Party in 2008 and 2010, the celebration in 2012 of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the BCC combined with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, in 2013 the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, and in June 2015 the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta – the BCC may organise and promote the event for the benefit of the whole British Community. The BCC addresses its objectives in the following manner:
• Each year, it publishes the Directory of British and Franco-British Clubs, Societies and Institutions, which lists all of its members, with a description of their activities and their contact details. • The Diary Secretary collects information on events being organised by member associations and sends out a monthly summary to inform members and their membership of those events that are of interest. • Its website www.britishinfrance.com reaches out to the broader on-line community, providing details of all member associations, and the British Community Diary of Events. • It holds Quarterly Meetings (usually in January, March or April, June, and September or October), attended by a representative from each member association, the individual elected members, and the Regional Representatives elected by member associations in the regions. Any association in France or Monaco with a British link is welcome to apply to join the BCC. Admission is granted to successful applicants following a presentation of the association to a Quarterly Meeting. The membership subscription for 2015-2016 is €20.
The Directory is published with the generous support of its contributors, the advertisers and its sponsor, the British School of Paris, to all of whom we express our very grateful thanks. Please mention the British in France Directory when you use their services.
United Kingdom - the Referendum bill and British expats
The campaign for expats' vote: Present arguments
If the amendment in the House of Lords (on October 28) is passed it then has to be re-considered in the Commons.
It is difficult to ascertain the Government view. It seems that they wish to see clear water between the Votes-for-Life Bill which they have yet to introduce, from the Referendum Bill. WHY? We do not know! One gets the impression that they want the Referendum Bill cleared out of the way before introducing the Votes Bill. This is what is distressing Harry Shindler, for Harry sees the danger in that it might cause the result of the Referendum to be ‘out’ simply because a large number of those most affected will not be allowed to vote!
It is patently obvious that it is undemocratic for those most affected to be denied the vote
The political minefield that is exposed, is that the Euro-sceptic politicians will not want the British Citizens in the EU to have the vote and that could endanger the progress of any such amendment as above.
Another spanner in the works is that it is rumoured that the notion has been introduced in cabinet office discussions that the Votes-for-Life Bill should include the concept of ‘overseas constituencies’. That also would create an arena for debate in either chamber of parliament. The Government insists that the Votes for Life Bill is necessary to achieve democracy. The Government is also in favour of staying in Europe. Some of us are confused as to why we cannot vote in the Referendum. What is it that we are not told?
To write to a member of the House of Lords –or to an MP – find the address on the following link. Both lots of addresses are accessible.
You could simply forward this mail .
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EU CITIZENS ABROAD
ETTW partner organisation
New book on the European elections 2014
This fall European Citizens Abroad is proud to announce the official release of 'Europeans Abroad: Vote 2014', the first ever comprehensive book on the voting rights, processes, and issues within the European Elections. Focusing on the status of voting rights during the European Election of 2014, which have not changed, the book examines the processes available in all 28 member states, and analyses the various citizen’s dilemmas, as well as political foreboding of the present electoral rights.
European Citizens Abroad was under the high patronage of the European Parliament for the campaign Europeans Abroad Vote 2014, a campaign geared to highlight voting inequalities and disenfranchisement amongst member states. Holding true to this activism and knowledge sharing, European Citizens Abroad will make available for free this fall both hard copies (limited numbers) as well as soft copies of this publication. Expect this announcement and resource this fall on europeancitizensabroad.eu .
EUROPEAN UNION NEWS
Public on-line consultation (all 24 EU languages). Deadline: December 7, 2015
Take part! Put it on your website and your social media. Inform your networks
CONSULAR PROTECTION OF EU CITIZENS:
Make sure that all your members and contacts are well informed about that important service.
REFORM OF EUROPEAN ELECTORAL LAW:
Draft report by Mrs. Danute Huebner and Mr. Jo Leinen, members of the European Parliament - to be voted in the Parliament plenary on October 27, 2015
It includes 9 concrete concrete changes, incl.:
- voting right for all European expats
- possibility for electronic voting
Follow-up to the Riga Recommendations of May 2015:
* ETTW meeting (Steen Illeborg) with EUROSTAT on Sept. 14 about a joint initiative to improve statistics on expats
* ETTW meeting (Ylva Tivéus) with Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mrs. Sylvia Guillaume (on the European Year on Mobile Citizens)
* The Riga Recommendations now also available in German (Aldis Austers).
* ETTW meeting (Steen Illeborg) with the Economic and Social Committee (on possible follow-up conference)
* ETTW meeting (Tony Venables) with the Commission Representation in London on possible conference on free movement (in 2016)
EU CITIZENSHIP, CONSULAR PROTECTION, PORTAL FOR EXPATS:
ETTW meeting (Niels Jørgen Thøgersen, Steen Illeborg, Ylva Tivéus) with the Commission (DG JUST)
THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 2019: VOTING BY EXPATS
* ETTW meeting (Niels Jørgen Thøgersen, Christian Vincke) with the European Parliament Research Service
NEW CONTACTS TO EXPAT ORGANISATIONS:
* Lithuanian World Community
* Croatian World Congress
* CEDISE, Sardegnia
* Portuguese Community Abroad
* Diaspora Matters, Ireland
22.10.: ETTW 1st Working Group meeting on voting rights for expats
(chair: Christian Vincke)
23.10: ETTW 1st Working Group meeting on electronic voting
(chair: Dorin Fleseriu)
26.10: ETTW: Pierre Mairesse meets Mission Laïque in Paris
(on Expats and education)
12.11.: ETTW 10th Working Group meeting on A New European Diaspora
Policy (chair: Steen Illeborg and Aldis Austers)
19.11.: NJT meets the bureau of the British Brussels Community Association
26.11.: ETTW Board meeting and general assembly, Brussels
27.11.: European Movement members meeting ( ETTW ass. member)
3.12.: NJT meets the Board of ViW, Brussels
Niels Jørgen Thøgersen - 21 10 2015