Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), took part in the 30th anniversary event of the Catalonia Information Center for Foreign Workers (CITE) in Barcelona, on 1st July.
The CITE is a network of centres promoted by the CCOO trade union (Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras) providing free of charge support to foreigners in terms of assistance and guidance on immigration law: work permits, residence, family reunification, nationality, etc., as an instrument to promote their social and labour integration and fight against discrimination.
During this visit, the President participated in a round table with Carles Campuzano, a Catalan member of the Spanish parliament and president of the NGO "ACSAR" (asylum and refugees) on the subject "Could European Migration Policy guarantee equality and inclusive citizenship?"
During the round table, Mr. Dassis informed participants that the EESC was the first EU body to deal with the refugee crisis, by launching 12 fact-finding missions, in December 2015 to eleven Member-States and Turkey to identify needs and problems, as well as best practices, in handling the refugee crisis. In his speech, he also referred to the need for the integration of refugees based on solidarity and honouring the history of civilisation of the European Union. In conclusion, the President stressed the Committee's pioneering role, for example, with regards to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the financial transaction tax which it had initiated.
This subject and others related to migration are on the top of the priorities of EESC's work, in a time where European Union is being challenged by the refugee crisis and growing tensions between citizens and migrants across Europe.