Minister George Vella and Commissioner Johannes Hahn joined panel of the “Towards a balanced narrative on migration in the Mediterranean”.

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vella-et-hahnTowards a balanced narrative on migration in the Mediterranean

The communication on migration has increasingly become a priority topic being incorporated in migration related initiatives implemented by the European Commission and addressed by other international migration actors, striving towards a balanced narrative on migration and reaping its benefits. Indeed, the current discourse which surrounds migration has taken a dramatically negative turn in the last decade both within Europe and internationally. This demands a review on how information pertaining to migration is gathered, shared and disseminated amongst different actors, which greatly impacts on both policy and public perception

‘Towards a balanced narrative on migration in the Mediterranean’ was the first event of this kind organised under the framework of the EUROMED Migration IV (EMM4), a programme funded by the European Union and led by the EU Commission’s Directorate General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR). The event, hold under the auspice of the Maltese EU Presidency, addressed the challenge, opportunity and necessity to jointly work towards a more balanced, evidence-based and forward-looking narrative on migration in the Mediterranean. It will bring together policy makers, media managers and journalists as well as migration and communication experts.

The high-level debate focused on the importance of the communication between elected political representatives and institutions at regional, national and the media as a crucial interface in between policymakers and public opinion. The debate informed by a preceding presentation of the key findings and recommendations of the study How do media on both sides of the Mediterranean report on migration? in 17 countries on both sides of the Mediterranean, launched under the framework of the EMM4 programme.

The event will conclude with three parallel thematic sessions, bringing together practitioners and experts tackling axes such as: – Balancing the narrative on migration: the role of the media and policy-makers; – Migration in the urban context and local discourse: the session will seek to disentangle the role of local authorities in helping to shape a constructive, evidence-based migration discourse and a link to global initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda. It will take stock of the preliminary results of the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration (MC2CM) project, funded by DG Near; and – Sharing and disseminating data and information via digital platforms to satisfy the information needs of the media, policy-makers and other stakeholders.

Keynote address by Hon. George W. Vella, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta.

Presentation of the main findings and recommendations of the EUROMED Migration IV (EMM4) study commissioned to the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN

Aidan White, Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), Director and CEO

Moderator: Shada Islam, Friends of Europe


Johannes Hahn, Commissioner (2014-2019), DG European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations (tbc)

Michael Spindelegger, ICMPD Director General

Magda Abu-Fadil, Veteran journalist, Blogger, Director of Media Unlimited in Lebanon

Jean-Paul Marthoz, Journalist, Le Soir columnist, Professor of International Journalism, Université Catholique de Louvain

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