Friends of New Europeans’ Annual Reception

On Wednesday 18th October 2017, the European Parliament hosted the Annual Reception of the Friends of the New Europeans Group.

The event was organized by the Friends of New Europeans, with the participation of the United Nations TOGETHER Campaign and the support of BDO. The reception was attended by high end representatives of the EU institutions and the private sector involved in migrant entrepreneurship and migration policies.

The evening was opened by MEP. Jo Leinen, President of the Friends of the New Europeans Group, who welcomed all the guests and highlighted the importance, contribution and added value of the New Europeans in nowadays EU.

Ms. Caroline Petit, Deputy Director at UNRIC, United Nations communications office for Western Europe expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative and explained that the ‘TOGETHER’ campaign is a global initiative led by the United Nations that wants to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants, and to strengthen the social contract between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants.

Dr. Adem Kumcu, President of UNITEE, reminded that such collaboration will continue and get stronger in the future, in order to work all together for a smart, social and sustainable future of Europe.

The concept of New Europeans is an innovative definition introduced by the European Commission as ‘people who live in the EU and have connections with more than the country where they live’. It offers the opportunity to overcome the often negative presumptions linked to immigration and its effects on the European economy. This definition is a very powerful tool, since it implies a change of perspective from diversity as something that has to be regulated and allocated to an asset, which is natural in European Society. The term ‘New Europeans’ innovates by stressing two concepts at the heart of the idea of the EU itself: diversity and mobility.

People’s mobility is at the heart of the European Union’s history: for centuries, people have moved from one corner to the other in our small and crowded continent, exchanging money, goods and ideas, and making Europe one of the most prosperous areas of the world. Such a role has been recognised even by the European Union’s official motto, In Varietate Concordia. New Europeans thus become the best embodiment of what the EU is all about: movement, exchange of people and ideas and diversity, leading to growth and innovation.

Today, the need to highlight the positive contribution of mobility and a diverse citizenship and to foster a new approach to such issues is more urgent than ever. With the xenophobic political discourse gaining influence and nationalistic sentiment rising, migrants all across Europe are often framed as the scapegoats for the problems Europe faces today.

Furthermore, New Europeans suffer from an underrepresentation in politics and institutions, which makes their voice and needs even more difficult to be heard. So far, too little has been done to highlight their important and extensive contribution to the European society.

The Friends of New Europeans group at the European Parliament aims at filling the gap of attention and contribute to a more balanced perception of New Europeans in the European society.

Since its establishment in late 2016, the core ambition of Friends of New Europeans is to provide a platform for the MEPs to play an active role in improving the integration and active European citizenship of New Europeans, while discussing the role of economic engagement and entrepreneurship in fostering integration. For this reason, the group organizes formal and informal meetings to enhance dialogue between European institutions, national, regional and local authorities, civil society representatives, scholars and business associations on the issues of migrant entrepreneurship, social innovation and integration policies.

To know more about our upcoming events and activities, please contact Ms. Chiara Vidussi at


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