Armenian and Jewish groups band together to form European diaspora coalition

May 7, 2016 18:02

The need for "inclusive narratives" of diasporas was discussed at the European Union conference.

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EU flags

EU flags. (photo credit: AFP/ DANIEL ROLAND)

The European Parliament hosted on Monday a symposium led by A Europe of Diasporas that married a myriad of advocacy groups representing Jewish, Roma, Armenian and Assyrian diasporas into one network, PanArmenian reported.

The conference revolved around two distinct areas of focus, education and the need to incorporate the diaspora narrative into the larger European consciousness. One representative stressed the importance of embracing multilingualism in children of diasporas within the educational framework.

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The need for "inclusive narratives" was also discussed at the forum and focused particularly on the diasporas' absence from the media as well as public discourse. Additionally, the charter emphasized the significance of genocide awareness.

According to the coalition's website, A Europe of Diasporas is "dedicated to cooperation between European diaspora and...aims to create a meeting of minds between activists and thinkers."

The movement's central concept revolves around the notion that both Europeans and diaspora peoples must acknowledge that their respective narratives are driven and influenced by the other and therefore must embrace unique identities while simultaneously fostering a sense of inclusivity in Europe.

MP Jordi Sebastia, co-chair of the Parliament’s intergroup on National Minorities, Traditional Communities and Languages, said at the conference that “it is possible to preserve the identity of [Diasporas] and also to share common values about human rights and democracy in Europe, but we need to make the effort,” the PanArmenian wrote.

A Europe of Diasporas' charter espoused a position of reciprocal interaction, saying "[Diaspora communities] have important formal and informal link with fellow ethnic or religious communities with whom they share a past, present and future. We will explore the opportunities which Europe may provide diasporas, and diasporas to Europe, and we will seek to develop a common dialogue with the European institutions."

Partners of the project include the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the European Union of Jewish Students and Piren Amenca and was co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Program of the European Union.

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