Communication Network

Start Official foundation and first meeting in Switzerland in November 2014
Active Member States Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Kosovo, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Other GDISC Member States are welcome to join meetings as well.
External organisations EASO, UNHCR and IOM
Purpose The purpose of the Communication Network is to facilitate closer practical cooperation between the participating Member States’ press/communication officers in the field of communication.
Background information Due to the economic downturn in Europe, the various crises in Europe’s neighbourhood and the 2015-2016 influx, the public opinion and mass media are even more closely following migration flows and asylum seekers, and the agencies’ handling of these cases. Thereby, pressure is exerted on communication departments from Europe’s migration services to constantly deliver facts, figures and scenarios.
At the 18th GDISC Steering Group Meeting in Brussels in March 2013, ten action points were presented as a response to the challenges for European migration services. It was argued that effective communication is a fundamental task of migration agencies to forward an accurate picture about migration and its challenges. The GDISC Steering Group Members pursued the discussion on these points at the Steering Group Meeting in Krakow in May 2013 and reiterated that proactive communication is the key success factor for migration services to be accepted as credible and effective.
On the basis of these conclusions, Switzerland offered to set up a series of annual communication workshops in the next three years – inviting the communication directors and press officers of the GDISC Member States’ services to share best practices on how to convey useful and often needed information to the public.
The first workshop and the discussions at the GDISC Annual Conference 2015 showed the importance of coordinated communication strategies. The second workshop focused on communication strategies of migration agencies working with asylum seekers and with effective methods to improve public understanding of this phenomenon, and there was a follow-up workshop on the German mobile app “Ankommen” in 2016. The workshop of 2017 offered a forum for the exchange of best practices on communication in the country of origin as well as information and prevention campaigns. The focus was on new ways of communication - such as social media - and the impact of their use.
The Network has the possibility to interact with each other in a specific Facebook group.
Status So far, four workshops have taken place: a workshop in Morges (Switzerland) in November 2014, a workshop in Warsaw (Poland) in May 2016, a follow-up workshop on the German mobile app “Ankommen” in Nuremberg (Germany) in October 2016, and a workshop in Prague (Czech Republic) from 30 November to 1 December 2017.
Since the three years plan was concluded in 2017, the GDISC Communication Network has to assess its way forward in terms of topics and future planning as of 2018.
Next meetings The next workshop is planned to take place in Austria in November 2018.

For further information please contact the GDISC Secretariat

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