ETTW News, April 2021

Upcoming Europeans Throughout the World events on: The changing European migration patterns; involving diasporas in the political life of their home countries; and the new ways and methods for teaching mother tongue languages and home country culture.


Webinar on The Changing Migration Patterns in Europe

ETTW is setting up a webinar on: The COVID Pandemic and Return Migration – the Romanian Example.

ETTW member association, ROMBEL, will be the chief responsible for this webinar on reverse migration, scheduled for June 3.

We’ll try to focus on migration vs. homecoming, brain-drain vs. brain-gain with cases,
examples and figures from blue-collar workers, agriculture and transport as well as the healthcare workforce with testimonies from returned medical staff.

The event will be set up in cooperation with the Migration Policy Center and the European Latvian Association.


European Citizenship rights – ETTW follow-up.

In December last year the European Commission published its European Citizenship Report 2020.
ETTW contributed to the preparatory work by rendering its opinion on the report and participating in a panel debate on the issues in the European Parliament.

The Commission has started its follow-up to the Report by opening a public consultation on two important directives: ‘Inclusive elections in Europe – supporting EU citizens’ right to vote and stand as candidates in another EU country’. And: Inclusive Elections in Europe – enabling EU citizens who reside in another EU country to exercise their right to participate in municipal elections’. The public consultation for both directives expires on July 12th 2021.

As both issues are high on the list of ETTW priorities, members and partners are asked to react and to let us know their views on the proposed changes by June 10th.

(Another directive to be revised which used to be of interest to ETTW members is the Directive on Driving Licenses. The revision has been underway for a long time (since 2006) – but has of course nothing to do with EU citizenship. The public consultation will be in the fourth quarter of 2021.)

In January we decided to coordinate our contacts to interested MEPs with two other NGOs, New Europeans and the ECIT Foundation. The aim is to improve the situation for the European diaspora – one of the groups hit the hardest by the national restrictions during the pandemic. Working with the other two NGOs we would attempt to establish an informal cross-party group of MEPs which would have the strengthening of EU citizens’ rights and a coordinated European diaspora policy high on its agenda.


Involving diasporas in the political life of their home countries

Some of the most important EU citizens’ rights have to do with political involvement and engagement of the diaspora. Both in their countries of residence and in their home countries.
In recent months ETTW members and partners have actively and successfully been working with their expatriate communities on that. Both the European Latvian Association, Stichting Nederlanders Buiten Nederland and the Lithuanian diaspora associations have organized campaigns to encourage and promote political participation and expat voting in their home countries.

In a webinar on February 12th our Lithuanian colleagues, Global Lithuanian Leaders, World Lithuanian Association and Lithuanians in Belgium presented their impressive work with focus on the social media and targeted digital campaigning.

At the ETTW board meeting on April 22, Stichting Nederlanders Buiten Nederland (SNBN) reported from their intensive campaign, directed at Dutch expats worldwide ahead of the Dutch general elections on March 18.

Based on the experience from these different activities and campaigns, the ETTW Board decided to organize a webinar on Diaspora Political Inclusion – exchange of best voting campaign practices – before the summer break.


Methods of teaching diasporas’ mother tongue and culture of origin – Including and profiting from the Corona experience.

Teaching the language and culture of diasporas’ home countries has always been high on the list of ETTW members’ priorities. The pandemic has added new dimensions to this. And based on our members’ best practices we’ll try to draw up a virtual catalogue of new methods, focusing on the digitalization possibilities that have been one of the few positive effects of closed schools and tele-teaching.

This exercise is scheduled for the spring and summer, hopefully resulting in a seminar/webinar and a methodological catalogue around the beginning of the next school year.