Now that the migration campaign has started, it was time for all the prep team members to meet once more. Actions needed to be planned, budgets worked out and deadlines set. Therefore we met from 10 till 12 October in Antwerp, Belgium. Jong Agalev booked one of their luxurious office buildings for us which was nice but forgot to tell that we had to share it the first day with the Flemish Green Seniors. The prep team members that arrived did enjoy some intergenerational bonding before setting off to a refugee centre in Antwerp.
A visit that left us with a lot to discuss: should refugees work for their money? Why are refugees treated like little children? Can they be locked into prisons? Is this whole refugee procedure focused on protecting the rights of refugees or on how to keep them out?
On Saturday we worked really hard on the campaign (be sure to order one of our killer t-shirts!) to conclude the working part with a debate between us, Fauzaya Talhaoui, a Flemish Green MP and Pascal Smet, Secretary of State and former Commisionary General for Refugees. A debate that was really good as our socialist friend Pascal did have some provocative ideas: no refugees in Europe but in camps at the border, open borders is an ultra liberal and very right wing idea, if you don’t work you won’t get social security. This sparked off a very interesting debate especially with our Germans.
After this hard work, we got a guided tour through Antwerp by members of Jong Agalev Antwerp. Of course including an introduction to Antwerp’s nightlife and Belgian Beer.
The morning after was a bit hard but we managed to get through the rest of the program. So after three days of hard work, interesting debating and enjoying the multicultural company the prep team was tired but satisfied. A prep team that could use some reinforcement for the last half year of the campaign. Interested? Mail Stefanie@fyeg.org and sign up for a very interesting experience!