Expert conference Return and reintegration

Fedasil conference Return
Fedasil organises an expert conference on return and reintegration in the context of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

In the first half of 2024, Belgium is, for the thirteenth time, the President of the Council of the European Union (EU). On 19 and 20 March 2024, Fedasil organises a two-day conference in Antwerp (and online) in collaboration with Frontex and the ICMPD (International Centre for Migration Policy Development). Different experts take the floor.

On the agenda

The first day, the guests reflect on the increasingly harmonised approach regarding return and reintegration in the EU.

We must look forward to the next steps in consolidating a return policy, a European return policy that is sustainable and effective”, says the State Secretary for Asylum and Migration, Nicole de Moor.  “And Belgium’s return policy places a premium on voluntary return recognizing it as the most compassionate, the most enduring and costs efficient option.”

Fanny François, general director a.i. of Fedasil, further explains the specific approach of Fedasil: “Information provision is a central component of our approach: talking and even more listening to migrants. Therefore, return counseling is very much centered on the needs of the migrant. And before information comes across, the interlocutor has to believe that the message is trustworthy and complete. It means that all options should be explored. And a conversation has to be honest and transparent.”

The second day is entirely dedicated to the sustainability of reintegration: how can member states make reintegration programmes more sustainable to create a lasting impact for the returnees and the communities in the countries of origin?

At this conference, Fedasil wants to bring together member states, the European Union and its partners to inform and inspire them first, but especially to make recommendations for the future policy of the next EU Commission.

On 22 May, Fedasil organises a second conference, this time on the theme "multistakeholder models" in the context of reception, information provision and pre-integration of asylum seekers.