PRESS RELEASE - OTOBER 2008
Do we construct walls not only around Europe but also inside the EU?
The first part of the question is a frequently asked one related to migration within the concept of the "Fortress Europe". But the second part rather reflects on the cooperation between Old and New Member States.
NMS involvement in the Schengen treaty means inhabitants may freely move between the member states. Though critical experts often question even this statement, there is also an uncertainty whether the flow and exchange of ideas, best practices and know-how among Old and New Member States exists at all.
A whole variety of EU or EC programs prefer cooperation between the "old states" and the newcomers. Grant applications in certain cases may only be accessed if there is interaction approved between OMS and NMS. Why not develop this kind of cooperation in the field of migration?
It is assumed that NMS have less experience in migration management because they were not target countries for their socialist past. Although after joining Schengen, immigration became a relevant topic. There is a clear historical, social, cultural and economic difference between OMS and NMS - that is often used as an explanation to many questions. But does it really serve anything to call NMS the "East" again - as we heard at some EU level NGO conferences about Official Development Aid questions and paradigm change?
The main question is whether there is such an extensive and relevant experience, know-how in the Old Member States that could be transferred, or at least tailored to local circumstances in the New Member States. And if there is, how could this learning process be more cooperative, is there anything to be shared from the side of NMS?
An excellent example for mutual cooperation between new and old member states, and of how to overcome the rebuilt walls between East and West within Europe is a project, titled: "PreQual steps - European dimensions within the intercultural qualificaion for migrant women entering the health and care sector".