Baltic Cities discussing the refugee crisis

15.03.2016 |

March 14th was the official opening of the Union of the Baltic Cities’ (UBC) conference regarding the impact of the European refugee crisis in the cities of the Baltic Sea Region. The conference will last until March 16th and is organized by the UBC and the hosting city of Rostock.

The European communities have recently gotten into quite a predicament, as they are obligated to provide food, water, housing, education, employment, education, clothing for the large and number of people, that flee from conflicts in Northern Africa and the Middle East. As an attempt to master the situation, the conference creates a forum to exchange experience, prevent unnecessary complications and reinforce the humanitarian ideals.

Many different Baltic cities already have experience with the integration of different cultures into their society and have handled different hurdles along the way. Previously used methods may not apply to this newfound situation, simply due to its magnitude and in addition to this, new requirements in the field of public order and security related to the threat from terrorism need to be met.

The cities should make their voices heard because this is the level where the problems have to be tackled and solved.” Per Bødker Andersen, the President of UBC,

Considering the challenging situation, it becomes quite clear, that a discussion between hosts is a sensible issue, especially since the attitude of the receiving countries is so very important.

The conference organised by the UBC thus gives evidence for how important it is to discuss new and creative ways of dealing with the current situations, as established structures may not suffice. Accordingly, the conference in Rostock can also be a great opportunity to open the dialogue for new approaches such as the potential of the cultural and creative industries to provide the opportunity to better and easier integration.

A great, exemplary approach from the region to the current situation is the exhibition “Make a change” in the Swedish Kulturcentrum Ronneby, which introduces different perspectives on migration and movement. The exhibition, still open until 27th March, also functions as a meeting place for participation in constant flux and a place for dialogue and narration.

Reena Kallat Saini, Saline Notations, Photographic series, 2015

 For additional information, click below:

UBC'S official side

Make a change exhibition

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"Culture includes not only culture and arts, but also the way of life and system of values. In this sense culture becomes the major power for intellectual renewal and human perfection." (European Council Report on European Cultural Policy)