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European Civic Forum / Forum Civique
It aims at promoting long-term changes in cooperation with affected groups through
- delegations of international observers at political and social focal points; contacts with affected people
- defending migrants that are deprived of rights and supporting their self-organization; creation of advisory services, education, legal and social support
- the promotion of a socially sustainable form of agriculture, in opposition to the relentless exploitation of both the environment and people
- international partnerships between social initiatives, creation of solidarity networks
- intercultural activities to foster mutual understanding and thus preventing conflicts
Currently, the European Civic Forum has a new focus on promoting direct solidarity with people that are affected most by the crisis.
Among others, the group has played an important role in supporting the Sindicato de Obrer@s del Campo (SOC), a labour union for agricultural workers in Andalusia, and in organizing resistance against the racist division of labour in agriculture in Southern Spain.
Afrique-Europe-Interact is a small transnational network, which was founded in October 2009. Its members are activists from Mali, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
At the moment ca. 40 groups from Mali are part of the network. Most of them provide practical support for deported persons; several groups were founded by people who had been deported themselves. Apart from providing direct help, many of the groups focus on development policies in their everyday work, since one of their main goals is to help deported people to develop new means of existence.
The participating German, Austrian and Dutch groups are mainly anti-racist grassroots initiatives and self-organised refugee groups. In Austria, the European Civic Forum takes part in Afrique-Europe-Interact.
Afrique-Europe-Interact has several political goals. First of all it aims to strengthen the civil, political and social rights of refugees and migrants – especially the global right of movement and settlement. This does not only refer to creating and developing transnational campaigns, that is campaigns with roots in Africa as well as Europe, e.g. against the EU border protection agency Frontex, against repatriation agreements or illegal deportations (no matter where from and where to). It also refers to informing people in Africa about the concrete situation of refugees and people without papers in Europe. One reason is to help people who plan to emigrate to make better and more realistic preparations (‘empowerment’). The other is to reduce prejudices against those who are deported to Africa and stigmatised as ‘failures’ by their families and their social environment.