Romania, as a country that receives refugees, must invest in significant policies for the integration of Ukrainian refugees, is shown in a message sent by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca at “The Bucharest Forum – Towards a Common European Platform for Refugee Inclusion”, an event organized by the Romanian Government, which marks the creation of the first European platform for high-level dialogue in the field of integration of refugees from Ukraine, at the initiative of Romania.
“I believe that the reunion of the European countries on the integration and inclusion of Ukrainian refugees is both timely and relevant. (…) We are six months after the beginning of the war without having a significant hope of seeing its end very soon. As a country that receives refugees, we must move to the next phase of integration and inclusion for the benefits both for our societies and for the refugees themselves,” the Prime minister said in the message sent to the meeting that takes place at the Palace of Parliament.
According to him, beyond the emergency response coordinated by the European states, the frontline countries, their international partners and civil society, there is a growing need to further address the medium- and long-term challenges of the flow of Ukrainian refugees in an adapted and coordinated manner in all Europe.
“We, here in Romania, have recognized from the very beginning that the response in case of emergency will not be enough and that we must invest in significant policies to allow the Ukrainian refugees to integrate, so that they can play an active role and adapt their future with the support of Romania. To this end, we now have a Comprehensive National Action Plan that sets out the legal, institutional and financial commitments and responsibilities of Romania to ensure a proactive realization of the rights of refugees to health, education, work, housing and protection of children and vulnerable people. It is also important to recognize that many host communities that have generously received refugees need support,” the Prime minister said.
He showed convinced that the participating countries are also facing similar challenges and that they have invested substantial efforts to address the situation of refugees.
“However, as you may already know, some of these challenges go beyond the national borders. In this context, we hope that the Bucharest Forum will be a first foundation for a common European political platform for dialogue and coordination on this pressing issue, which we can only address together. (…) I thank you all for the effort to come to Bucharest and I also want to especially thank Madalina Turza and her team for their tireless efforts to coordinate Romania’s response to refugees and for taking the initiative for this Forum and bringing it forward for achievement,” the Prime minister concluded in his message.
The Bucharest Forum marks the creation of the first European platform for high-level dialogue in the field of integration of refugees from Ukraine, at the initiative of Romania. 23 member states of the European Union, the Republic of Moldova, Norway participate at the level of ministers, secretaries of state and directors of integration, as well as representatives of the European Commission and of the UN agencies.
The event is hosted by the strategic coordinator of the humanitarian assistance, state counselor Madalina Turza, and aims to identify common medium and long-term solutions for refugees from Ukraine.
President Iohannis: In these difficult times, it is particularly important that Europe remains united
President Klaus Iohannis affirms in a message sent on Tuesday to “The Bucharest Forum – Towards a Common European Platform for Refugee Inclusion” the need for Europe to remain united in the difficult context created by the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
“I strongly believe that, in these difficult times, it is particularly important that Europe remains united while facing such complex challenges. I welcome the initiative of the Romanian Government to organize the Forum in Bucharest, which not only reaffirms, but also reinforces our commitment to support Ukraine. The European Union wants Ukraine to be independent, democratic and European. However, while we continue to support Ukraine on its path to restoring peace, we must admit that we cannot know when this war will end unprovoked will end. Thus, a change of perspective on the support mechanisms for refugees is required, from a temporary approach to a medium and long-term one,” says Iohannis, in the message presented by the state adviser Catalina Galer.
The Romania president emphasizes that, from the first day of this “unfair and illegal” war, Europe has offered an example to the whole world through the humanity and solidarity shown, and Romania was no exception, currently hosting almost 90,000 Ukrainians.
The head if state recalls that Romania launched, at the end of July, the National Plan of Measures for the Protection and Inclusion of Displaced Persons from Ukraine, which addresses multiple specific areas of intervention.
In his opinion, guaranteeing access to public goods and services in a non-discriminatory way is an essential prerequisite, along with the inclusion of refugees in the public health systems, in the education systems and on the labor market, as well as offering housing opportunities.
“All these require legislative changes and huge financial commitments, which must be assumed, together, by the European community,” he says.
The head of state adds that access to a quality and inclusive education for children and young people is a prerequisite for protecting their development.
President Iohannis says that, through the ongoing programs, refugees must be given the chance to develop further and become financially independent, without relying on the support provided by the host countries’ authorities.
The head of state also mentions that the mechanisms to combat undeclared or illegal work must be strengthened, as a preventive measure against the risk of exploitation or human trafficking, considering that many of the displaced persons from Ukraine are vulnerable categories, such as women, children and the elderly.
He emphasizes that all processes and decisions regarding refugees must be transparent and effectively communicated, so that they gain confidence in the authorities of the countries where they take refuge during the war, feeling at the same time protected and safe.