In 2007, eleven organizations from nine countries of the European Union took the initiative to consult each other on the relationship between migrations and development in order to address the lack of visibility and recognition of codevelopment activities, both in the North in European countries and in the South in countries of origin. To improve practices in this area and enhance their impact, creating a European network became necessary.
A general assembly was organized in 2007 to found the Eunomad association which has been officially registered in Belgian law in 2008 under the name EUNOMAD ASBL (see the articles of association).
The network brings together today around one hundred stakeholders in 10 European countries from the civil society, local authorities and research institutes, working in the field of migrations, development and integration (migrant associations, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, research institutes, national groups and stakeholder networks).
As a public arena for multi-actors dialogue, Eunomad reflects the multiplicity of practices linking migration, development, integration/citizenship and promotes them through a work of analysis, capitalization and advocacy at national and European levels.
The network’s activities are organized into four areas:
- The development of a multi-actor arena for consultation in Europe by structuring country platforms and fostering synergies between the different stakeholders.
- The capitalization of practices, that is to say, the creation of a common framework for exchanging experiences, in the form of meetings and workshops. It allows network members to collectively evaluate their practices in the fields of migration-development-integration/citizenship and stimulates capacity building.
- Studies, by putting into perspective a state of art of the migration-development and integration/citizenship nexus and an analysis of policies and public debates on these subjects with the production of reports in each member country and in Europe.
- Advocacy, by formulating recommendations for policy makers in countries and at the European level, so that public policies effectively support migrants as development actors.
The vision of Eunomad is based on its members’ shared belief that mobility is a fundamental right and an asset for development in both countries of origin and host countries.
We believe that migrants contribute to building on a daily basis the human, social, cultural and economic development of their societies of origin and of residence, and to encouraging new active solidarities here and there.
The goal of Eunomad is to explain and to foster the recognition of migrants’ active citizenship and their capacities for development here and there. The network operates in the public debate by relying on the experiences and expertise of its members.
Our values are:
• Mobility – a resource for development – is a bridge between the North and the South. We affirm the wealth of mobility for development “here and beyond”. We recognize the contribution of migrants to the social, cultural and economic development of the societies of origin and of residence. Through collective and individual remittances and support, they have contributed to the improvement of the living conditions of their families who remained behind in their homeland, while enriching their host societies. Through their activities, migrants have forged new solidarities between the North and the South and are key factors for social change.
• Solidarity, citizenship and interculturalism - the status of migrant should be a transitory phase towards formal citizenship. The migration-development relationship echoes a project of solidarity between societies which places the respect of political, economic and social rights at the heart of relations between the North and the South. This vision lies at the heart of the values of the European project, reaffirmed by the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
• The redefinition of debates on migration and co-development : the migrant as an “enterprising actor” at the core of the development process
By creating a link between development, entries and rights, we revaluate the global approach towards migration from the point of view of those it concerns. The migration-development relationship should not be overshadowed by security and xenophobic considerations which currently prevail in Europe. Migrants cannot get involved effectively in the development of their societies of origin and their host societies if the active citizenship which they exercise in Europe is not recognized and accompanied by public policies. Migration and development policies should not be limited to the relation they have with their country of origin, but rather evaluate their contribution to European societies. The social capital and the contribution of migrant communities and associations to the building of bridges for dialogue and projects between the North and South open the opportunity to create a positive vision in Europe on migration and development.
• Co-development : a bridge for “better cohabitation between the North and South”
Eunomad defines “codevelopment” as “a process for sustainable improvement of living conditions and better living both in regions of origin as well as in those of settlement –through mobility, exchange and migrations” (cf. European conference of April 2007 in Paris).
The principal characteristics which guide our vision on migration-development-integration are: the global, integrated and transversal approach; democratic functioning; transparency; territorialisation; citizen participation; partnership approach; the respect for institutional frameworks; reciprocal exchanges; ecological integrity; equity between nations, individuals and groups; economic efficiency.
• Closely linked to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, human rights are one of the essential tenets of Eunomad’s vision and values.