Interview of Saulius Styga from Lithuania after the Training Course "Welcome Friends" in Torremolinos.
Can you give us your opinion about the project "Welcome friends"?
We enjoyed the opportunity to participate in project “Welcome friends”. Refugee crisis in Lithuania started this year and is quite new for us. It was very useful to gain and share
experience between countries about refugees and to discuss about EU policy regarding this topic. Project organization was very good because of balanced time between theory part, practical group tasks and professional lecturer. We had outdoor activities during our sessions and this was the great way to rest our brain and to build relationships with other participants.
What can the Eureopean Union do to better protect refugees? or What can
Europe do to welcome refugees?
We raised awareness during the project about EU actions of how to better protect and
welcome refugees and made some suggestions. We discussed about different policies country by country in EU and we found out the main differences which are: different amount of subsidies, asylum seeker application processing duration, living conditions in refugee camps and integration to society process. These differences raise refugees willingness to reach most advantageous countries for them like for example Germany, Sweden and etc. Refugees know the conditions in different countries very well and they are complaining in refugee camps in Lithuania. Our suggestion is to make the same conditions in all EU countries: similar amount of subsidies according to average wage in the country, shorten the duration of asylum seeker application process (asylum seeker cannot work legally while process is in progress), make similar integration program. We believe the implementation of these suggestions will dramatically improve quality of refugees living in EU.
What will you do at the local level to promote the integration of refugees
and migrants in your country? Do you have some suggestions for activities to
raise awareness on the topic or measures to take? We have the challenging situation in Lithuania this year: asylum seekers count raised
approximately 50 times compared to 2020. The reason behind this is the politics of Belarus. The awareness of this topic is one of the top in our newsletters. During this situation we will donate clothes, shoes and other stuff for asylum seekers in refugee camps. We will become volunteers to help in refugee camps. We will promote charity organizations to attract more donations. We will spread the word to our family, friends and colleagues..