Newsletter No 5 – January 2016

ETTW news from Brussels

The EU Commission’s public consultation on the European Citizenship report 2016

ETTW has on December 3, 2015 sent our detailed comments and proposals to Commissioner Jourova, who is responsible for citizenship questions. Our proposals were prepared in our Board in a discussion with our member organizations.

Our proposals were concentrating on these points:

  • Intra-EU mobility (better and more accessible information; cross-border education and training)
  • Values of EU citizenship, democratic and civic participation

Our proposals are, of course, available to those who are interested.

We will now follow the next steps in the Commission’s preparations of the final Citizenship Report very closely and keep you posted and involved in the next steps when ETTW is concerned.

ETTW proposal for a grand debate on free movement in the EU, perhaps with a European Year on Mobile Citizens:

Following one of the points in the Riga Recommendations, the ETTW board     at its meeting in November adopted a proposal to the European Commission    to launch a European Year on Free Movement of Citizens. This coincided with the culmination of the European refugee crisis, which is why we widened the scope of the proposal to a structured Great Public Debate on Free Movement in the EU.

Such a debate would allow citizens, governments, local authorities and civil society to thoroughly discuss free movement and its implications economically, socially, politically and culturally, eventually within the framework of a traditional European Year.

First European Convention for Europeans Living Abroad

In continuation of the discussions and the recommendations in Riga in May 2015 ETTW has contacted the prime minister of Malta, Mr. Joseph Muscat, to propose to him that a First European Convention for Europeans Living abroad should be organized in Valletta in cooperation between the Maltese government and ETTW.

The prime minister sent us on December 4, 2015 a positive reply to our suggestion, though he underlined that it for practical reasons wouldn’t be possible during Malta’s EU-presidency in the first part of 2017.   ETTW has now proposed the event for sometime during 2018 – also a good timing before the next European elections in the spring of 2019.

Coordination meeting between the four ETTW working groups on:

  • A new European Emigrants’ Policy (incl. follow-up to Riga) (Steen Illeborg)
  • Voting rights for all European expats in the European elections 2019 (Christian Vincke)
  • Electronic registration and voting; on-line polling (Dorin Fleseriu)
  • Expats and education (Pierre Mairesse)

The meeting took place on January 14, presided by Steen Illeborg.  A joint plan for the next steps was agreed, incl. presentations to the next ETTW Board meeting on March 10 of the following items: the scheduled conference with Eurostat on mobility statistics and research methodology in the second semester, 2016; voting rights for expats; a project on electronic voting especially ‘internet voting’ and a report on networks of national schools abroad and international schools and of recognition of skills and qualifications.

ETTW active monitoring of rulings by the European Court of Justice – of particular interest to European expatriates:

A ETTW meeting with the president of the Court, Mr. Koen Lenaerts, is planned for early February.  Mr. Steen Illeborg and Mrs. Ria Heremans will represent ETTW.


NEWS from members, partners and contacts

( deadline announced in ENS in December:  Jan. 11, 2016 )



Vlamingen in de Wereld

We have one upcoming event:
VIW ACADEMY / Inspiration & networking event.

Internationalisation starts at the school. This evening links study mobility  to labor mobility.
Young people with foreign plans are stimulated by educational institutions,  the Flemish government and many businesses with exciting challenges worldwide.
For many an international internship, an overseas semester or a foreign doctorate is a seed that grows into a broader experience.
Date: Tuesday, February 16 | More information:

Contact: Koen Van der Schaeghe


Croatian World Congress

An interesting result from the recent Government’s elections in Croatia. Elections were held on 11. of Nov 2015. and since the two major political parties , one from  the left and one from the right, could not obtain sufficient majority to form a government on their own right fierce negotiations ensued with the third and new political force in the country called ‘Most’ (Bridge) which managed to obtain 19 seats, out of 140, in the new parliament.

Eventually a deal was made to form a new government between right wing HDZ ( Croatian Democratic Union) and the new player in the Croatian politics Most. The new government still needs to be approved by the Parliament but what has caused quite a sensation was that the new junior partner in this new coalition government has forced its bigger partner HDZ in accepting a neutral candidate for the post of prime minister,  who happens to be an Expat! His name is Tihomir Orešković, born in Canada.

He is a successful businesses man, was manager of one of the leading pharmaceutical firms in the country, is member of the Croatian-Israeli business club, a practising Catholic, he and his family have returned to live and work in Croatia some years ago.

This is the first time that someone who was born outside Croatia has become the leader of the Government.

It is also the second time since the establishment of Croatia as an independent state, when Expats made an enormous contribution in its formation and subsequent defence against foreign invasion, that the two halves of Croatian people, those living in Croatia and those living abroad are brought together.

This is an historical occasion that will see Croatian Diaspora much more involved in direct assistance and investment into Croatian economy and country’s future prosperity.

It definitely opens a new chapter in Croatian political and social scene.

Contact:  Stephen Asic

President of Croatian World Congress



Diaspora Matters

“ Diaspora Matters” is a Dublin based global consultancy company that has worked with  over 30 countries in the last three years helping them develop strategies to connect with their Diasporas. What was once confined to a handful of countries is now being embraced by dozens. Technology and communications are meaning that what were once globally dispersed communities are now more interdependent and interconnected than ever before. People now lead ‘hyphenated’ lives, are here and there and brain drain can become brain gain and brain exchange. Geography no longer dictates identity or, as we say, geography is history. According to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington we have seen over 450 Diaspora initiatives developed in more than 50 countries in the last 5 years. There is a growing realisation that countries possess what we, in Diaspora Matters, call Diaspora Capital which we define as ‘the overseas resources available to a home country in the form of people, knowledge and finance.’ What were once regarded as ‘lost actors’ are now being seen as ’national assets’. More and more countries are coming to the realisation that Diaspora Capital can be utilised if mutually beneficial policies are designed, implemented, measured and reviewed. Countries also see this as more than just economic remittances, important and growing as they are, but also social remittances in the form of ideas, values, beliefs and practices that can be exported back to countries of origin, ancestry and affinity. The search for talent and skills has evolved into a global hunt for the best and brightest wherever they may be and Diasporas are fertile sources for identifying these people.

In the last year Diaspora Matters has worked with Armenia, Kenya, Scotland, Malawi, Ghana, Poland and Great Britain, in addition to Ireland, and has produced a listing of 100 Diaspora initiatives which have been launched in over 50 countries.

See  and download the Global Diaspora Strategies Toolkit.

Contact: Kingsley Aikins, Diaspora Matters:

Tel. +353 86 8064665



Friuli nel Mondo

FRIULI NEL MONDO has a new President.

The entrepreneur Adriano Luci has succeeded last December to Piero Pittaro as a President of our associated member Friuli nel Mondo, the association representing friulian expatriates around the world.

Adriano Luci is a successful entrepreneur in the Region, in charge of Lights Group, which brings together several companies. Mr Luci is also vice-chairman of Banca Popolare di  Cividale, an important bank of Friuli.

The new president will have to preserve, enhance and increase an impressive “human heritage” of more than 23,000 members of the 155 Fogolars (the local associations linked to Friuli nel Mondo) present on all continents, from Europe to Australia, from Asia to North and South America, with an estimated concerned population of 200.000 visitors per year. Alegacy and a mission, now in the hands of the new President, with an enormous potential.

In recent years, the association has in fact greatly enhanced the economic link with friulian expatriates abroad: the nomination of Mr Luci is the expression of the continuation of this path.

In addition to the figure of the new President has been also renovated the Board Directors, including now Ms Rita Zancan, well known by ETTW members, after her participation to the meeting in Riga.

Mr Piero Pittaro, who was in charge of the Association since 2000 and worked hard for the membership of FnM to ETTW, was awarded the post of Honorary President of Friuli nel Mondo.

To the new President Adriano Luci the ETTW  most sincere congratulations and best wishes for this new assignment, hoping that we will continue in a so precious collaboration in favour of expatriates from Friuli in the world.

Mr. Adriano Luci and Mr. Piero Pittaro.

Contact: Mr. Christian 



European Latvian Association

European Latvian Association activities.

After ELKS, a big cultural event which was held by ELA, last summer in Brussels, we got back into our regular schedules.

This means that we are getting ready for our next big events.

In order to promote the political activity, the participation in elections and the referendums of all Latvian citizens living in Europe and to create the platform for Latvians from all European countries to share their experience and knowledge, in the year 2016 we are organising an ELA congress in Riga.

In 2018, Latvia will be celebrating 100 years since the day of Latvia’s independence proclamation. Latvia is preparing a big celebration in the country and abroad. ELA is going to participate and help with our sources to make the festivities as good as they can be.

In Riga, on the 30-31 of January we will be having ELA’s board meeting where we will discuss the upcoming events. The same week ELA’s board members will have meetings with the Latvian ministry of culture and the ministry of foreign affairs.

Contact:  Ilze Zilgalvis:



Global Lithuanian Young Leaders

Our Global Lithuanian Awards event in December was great, we had a blast at the Presidential palace. These first months of 2016 is dedicated for planning and spinning off new programs, so far nothing to declare:)

Not sure if this one would be interesting topic, but sharing our outcome of the recent joint project:

Within the framework of Erasmus+ project of strategic partnerships GRADual, consortium Partners For Value (Lithuanian Association of Industrialists) in cooperation with Fundación Universidad-Empresa (Spain),  Saltire Foundation (Scotland), Global Lithuanian Leaders (Lithuania) as well as 6 Spanish and Lithuanian universities have executed the Guidelines on Establishing and Effectively Running Student/Graduate Internship Programmes

The Guidelines focus on: the framework for developing and running effective student and graduate internship programmes; the resources needed for the successful organisation of said programmes (legal and financial arrangements); suggested structure for internship schemes; programme management, monitoring and measurement of impact; the role and added value provided through the participation of intermediary organizations.

This document is therefore meant to be used by institutions which are active (or interested) in designing, developing, managing and/or collaborating in effective internship programmes for university students and recent graduates. In other words, it’s to be used by higher education institutions (universities and colleges) and intermediary organizations, which provide services to universities and businesses.

Link to Guidelines:

Contact: Mrs. Kotryna Stankute, director e-mail:



Foundation for Dutch Education Worldwide

A few lines about Dutch Education Worldwide:

Available for Dutch and Flemish children abroad – Dutch Education Worldwide

Thousands of Dutch and Flemish children spend part of their childhood abroad. When they return to the Netherlands or Belgium, they (re-)enter the education system at anywhere from primary school to university level.

The Foundation for Dutch Education Worldwide (Stichting Nederlands Onderwijs in het Buitenland, or NOB) is a non-profit organisation that has been facilitating their smooth transition into the Dutch or Flemish education system since 1980. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has commissioned NOB to promote and support high standards of Dutch education for Dutch-speaking children around the world.

See for more facts and stories our online magazine: Dutch Education Worldwide

If you require more information please find attached document with additional information about NOB and our yearly activities.

Contact: Karen Peters, Directeur-bestuurder


M: +31 (0) 63 49 95 555



There is plenty of activities in relation to Portuguese expats

First of all, we have the presidential elections this week end: Portuguese diaspora can vote Saturday and Sunday in the consulate.

We finally know the new secretary of state of the Portuguese communities: his name is José Luis Carneiro. He will probably convoke the Plenary of the Council of the Portuguese communities in April.

The Plenary is important because a new board will be elected and it will be the kick off of our work.

Before the Plenary, I will organize a “table ronde” with the Portuguese community of Belgium. The aim is to discuss about the main issues of our diaspora: education, culture promotion, voting rights…

Normally, the table ronde will occur in the Parliament of Brussels.

Contact: Pedro Rupio

Conselheiro das Comunidades Portuguesas

Conseiller communal à Saint-Gilles, Belgium

e-mail : 



Rombel – Romanian Community in Belgium

From ROMBEL – Romanian community in Belgium here are the news:

  • 24/01 – the conference of Romanian’s Diaspora, held in Bucharest Parliament Palace.
  • 29/01 – the launch of ” Unite in Good” , a non profit organisation focused on charity, which works closely wth Rombel.
  • 30/01 – 5th edition of Rombel Dialogues, with invites from romanian cultural sector and book writers, event under Romanian Cultural Institute sponsorship.

Contact: Dorin Fleseriu, president of ROMBEL,




World Association of Slovaks Living Abroad

Statement by president Vladimir Skalsky on January 20, 2016:

In the new election term, they would like to get greater financial support, see the founding of the Centre of Slovak Outland in Bratislava, renewal of the Committee for Slovaks Living Abroad with the parliamentary Foreign Committee where expats would be represented, and also the possibility to cast their vote either via internet or at representative offices.

Contact:  Vladimir Skalsky



United Kingdom

Consequence of Brexit for British expat

Impact of Brexit on 2 Million Expat Brits & Other Major Issues.right2vote4xpatbrits


Fast forward to 22.50 minutes the BBC Radio 4 podcast below and listen to Jean-Claude Perez, who served for 23 years as Head of Legal Services to the EU Council of Ministers, talking about the implications of a Brexit for the 2 million British citizens currently benefiting from being EU citizens when studying, working or living in other EU member states. Other interviews in this podcast also cover the other major issues involved in a Brexit for the UK as a whole.

Should the UK government in the event of a Brexit still want to maintain the benefits of freedom of movement, health, pensions etc. for these 2 million British citizens, he suggests that the EU would insist on reciprocal benefits for the 2 million EU citizens also currently studying, working or living in the UK (including those from Eastern Europe).

If you are one of these 2 million British citizens resident within another EU member state, shouldn’t you now be making sure that you will be able to vote in the UK’s EU Referendum, which seems increasingly likely to take place in the second half of 2016?

You can register to vote via the link here if you have been resident abroad for less than 15 years:

Contact: Brian Cave, leader of register-to-vote campaign, France



LibDem starts campaign to mobilize British expats

Lib Dems launch EU referendum campaign to mobilise British expat voters across Europe.

The Brussels and Europe Liberal Democrats (BELD) this week launched their EU referendum campaign aimed at mobilising British expat voters across the EU.

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder said:

“The Liberal Democrats will be making a positive, passionate case why Britain is better off in Europe.

“One of the biggest benefits of EU membership is the opportunity to live, work and retire across the continent.

“We must secure this right for our children and grandchildren as well as the estimated 2 million British citizens currently living around Europe.”

BELD Chair George Cunningham said:

“Liberal Democrats fought hard to try and give all British expats in the EU the right to vote in the referendum, but the Government refused to go along with that.

“The next battle is to ensure that those who are eligible register in time and don’t let their right to vote slip through their fingers.

“British expats will lose out heavily if we leave the EU. But with the current polls neck and neck, every vote from British expats in Europe will count.

“Join our campaign today to give British voters across Europe a voice and defend the right to free movement in the EU.”

The campaign has a Facebook page with up-to-date news about the debate.

More information on the Brussels and Europe Lib Dems referendum campaign and practical advice about voting can be found here.

Only British Expats who have been living away from Britain for less than 15 years and are registered in their original constituencies have the right to vote in the EU referendum.

Contact: George Cunningham, president



ETTW Partner organizations

New Europeans


Mission statement

Empowering the EU citizens of today, and the new Europeans of tomorrow.

  • Free movement report

Building on the work we have been doing  with DG Justice on the voting rights of EU citizens and the EU citizenship report, we have started a series of consultations and public hearings in order to gather evidence for our Freedom of Movement report.  The report will examine the barriers that still exist to free movement and mobility in Europe from the perspective of the citizen.​ We will use the opportunity of preparing this report to work with EETW  for a Year of the Mobile Citizen in 2017.

  • Common Borders

We are working with our partners and stakeholders in Brussels and across the EU for a fair, rational and humane European approach to controlling the EU’s external borders and managing the refugee crisis and migration flows. In particular, we are helping to promote a European Citizens Initiative calling for an EU wide borders and asylum policy. The migration issue is transforming the European Union with the predicted impact on Schengen and the free movement rights of all Europeans. We need to mobilise support for our EU citizenship rights and also emphasise that Europe’s response to the crisis must be consistent with European values.

  • Voting rights of EU citizens

We continue to campaign for the voting rights of mobile EU citizens and to encourage voter registration. It is very important that as many EU citizens as possible take part in the elections in London, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and many other areas of the UK this May. We are also working to make sure that overseas UK voters register to vote in the referendum. We were able to get the issue of EU citizens voting rights in the referendum debated in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords but the government has refused to grant all EU citizens this right, even though EU citizens were able to vote in the Scottish independence referendum. Maltese, Cypriot and Irish citizens will be able to vote by virtue of these member states past links with Britain.

  • Branches and area coordinators

We are opening branches of New Europeans in the UK and across the EU and have appointed a local are coordinator, Harry Bell, to reach out to our partners and stakeholders  in Brussels. We would be very interested to hear from any member of the EETW network who can help us establish a branch in other cities or regions in the EU.

  • New board members

We are delighted to announce that six new Trustees will join our board in February. They include human rights lawyer, Martha Jean Baker, former VP of the EU Women’s Lobby, Annalisa Piras, film-maker and journalist, Haude Lannon, public affairs consultant and former adviser to EP President, José Maria Gil-Robles, Tim Beyer Helm, former EPP Press Spokesman,  Tom Brown, former MD, Nord/LB, London  and Wiard Sterck, creative consultant and Chair of the Royal Society of Arts in Wales.

Contact: Roger Casale – Founder and CEO, New Europeans


+ 44 (0)  7960 586806 

+ 44 (0)  208 780 3388


AEMI – Association of European Migration Institutes

Call for papers for European conference

The Association of European Migration Institutions (AEMI) together with its local partner organization Arquivo da Emigración Galega – Consello da Cultura Galega announces a call for papers for the annual AEMI conference which will be held in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain) from September 28 to October 1 2016.

The theme of the 2016 AEMI conference is European migrant diasporas and cultural identities. Since AEMI members come from various fields and are interested in different aspects of migration, the papers could cover a wide range of both historical questions and contemporary issues related to diasporas and cultural identities in migration processes (European migrations and cultural identities outside Europe, immigrant cultural identities in Europe, local identities: diasporas and the home country); migrant networks, associations and the reproduction of cultural identities; dilemmas of assimilation and acculturation in migration processes; mobilization of migrant communities; migration studies and identity issues; migration center and their contribution to multiculturalism.

In order to apply, please provide a paper abstract (in English) with no more than 300 words and a brief biographic summary of no more than 200 words. The selection of papers will be done based on their thematic significance and academic quality.

DEADLINE: April 30,  2016

Applications should be mailed at: Info: AEMI-CONFERENCE 2016


Niels Jørgen Thøgersen – President ETTW




  • March 10:  ETTW Board meeting and General Assembly
  • July 1:   Slovakia takes over the EU presidency
  • Jan. 1:   Malta takes over the EU presidency

Niels Jørgen Thøgersen  –   22 01 2016