On 13 December 2013, Belgium organised a stakeholder meeting in Brussels which gathered over 50 practitioners from different organisations involved in the resettlement process. The European Resettlement Network's Belgian National Network Focal Point, the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS), which is involved in the selection and reception phases, was one of many government actors in attendance. Others included local authorities, NGOs and international organisations involved in integration and resettlement activities.
Belgium organises stakeholder meetings on a regular basis, and at least twice a year, with their main objective to strengthen the link between the different phases in the resettlement process. These meetings provide a platform for partners to discuss openly their experiences, with the aim to improve the Belgian resettlement programme.
Three main topics were discussed during the December meeting. Firstly, the different partners involved shared their experiences in resettling the Burundian and Congolese refugees to Belgium in 2013. Secondly, Belgium's quota for 2014, which will include 75 Syrian refugees and 25 Congolese refugees, was discussed. A subsequent overview was provided by UNHCR and IOM gave an overview on the situation in Syria, while a representative from Caritas Friedland shared their experience on the reception of Syrian refugees through the German Humanitarian Admission Programme (HAP). Finally, the meeting provided the opportunity to present both the activities of the European Resettlement Network and the SHARE Project, both of which support the development of resettlement in Europe by connecting a variety of actors involved in refugee resettlement.
A full report of the meeting is now available (in Dutch, French as well as in English) on the Belgian resettlement website: http://www.hervestiging.be/2013
To learn more about resettlement in Belgium, click here.
Click here to view a map of the different centres involved in the reception and integration of refugees in 2013.