The Euro-Mediterranean Migration Narratives Conference is the flagship event of the EUROMED Migration V (EMM5) and Mediterranean City-to-City Migration (MC2CM) programmes, two projects implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), on communication on migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The Conference took place on 10 and 11 November and once again provided an excellent opportunity to migration communication stakeholders to take stock of the latest developments in this field by bringing together the most reputable experts and to consolidate a community of practice of Euro-Mediterranean governmental communicators.
Although it is a multi-faceted phenomenon with countless realities, challenges and opportunities, migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region is perceived as a controversial and polarizing topic that is too often associated with the “crisis communication” rather than “strategic constant communication”, thus causing serious difficulties for policy makers. Understanding the full range of perceptions, narratives and communication technologies used at international, national and local level is essential to promote comprehensive and balanced discourses that can facilitate the implementation of evidence-based policies. Properly communicating and explaining migration as a vast and multi-faceted phenomenon, which cannot be summed up in a simplistic way, is paramount to avoid mistrust in policy makers and promoting effective implementation of migration policies.
This year’s theme revolved around the governance of migration narratives. The governance dimensions of migration narratives (local, national, regional, global) have received considerable attention in recent years from academia, paving the way for a number of dedicated fora, such as the Working Group of the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) on migration narratives. Nevertheless, much remains to be done to understand how migration narratives are formed at different levels of governance, interrelate with each other, and affect policy-making. This edition of the Conference brought together experts and practitioners at different levels of governance to investigate, debate and present best practices on how professionalization, modernization and capacity partnerships can enhance the promotion of balanced migration narratives and serve as tools to improve the development of migration policies.
The event included rhe 5th EUROMED Migration Workshop for public communicators “Understanding the governance of migration narratives in the Euro-Mediterranean region”, which I had the pleasure to conceive and run as Master of Ceremony and the High-Level Event “The governance of migration narratives in the Euro-Mediterranean region within the framework of capacity partnerships” which I moderated.
I really enjoyed being part of this important conference in the beautiful frame of Rabat and I look forward to organising next year’s edition with ever more food for thought on an issue that has been at the core of my work for the past few years.