At Daugavpils University (DU) on 22nd of February, 2016 within the project “Homo Europeanus – Overcoming the Knowledge Deficit’ organised by UNESCO department, was hold a discussion ‘Refugees in European Union: Interpretation in different media resources”. In event participated the 1st year Master students of DU Faculty of Education and Management. At the beginning of the discussion the leading researcher of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences Eridiana Olehnovica and researcher Ilona Fjodorova introduced participants with the aim, the objectives and the overall activities of the project, which are taking place in the European Union countries, as well was clarified the meaning and understanding in Latvia of such concepts as - a refugee, an asylum seeker, an alternative status and illegal immigrants. Further, students in groups analyzed articles on the refugee crisis published in different mass media and presented summarized experience of several countries, such as Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, France, etc., they summed up examples of good experience and urged everyone to think about global issues, which countries are facing in recent years.
Here are some opinions of students about the discussion:
‘Both in Europe and in Latvia there are a lot of discussions, thoughts and opinions on this issue. This discussion was good because it helped to find out society’s opinion not only in Latvia, but also in other European countries; as well as to look on the refugee experience in more developed countries, and to try change something to not make the same mistakes.’ (Erika Maslinovska)
‘At the discussion on refugee issue, it was possible to hear the definitions of concepts what helped to understand the issue better. As well as the existing threats, challenges and hold events in different countries, what helped to make analytic analyses and understand the good and the bad this issue brings to the society.’ (Jolanta Skutele)
‘The attitude towards refugees is contradictory. On the one hand – there is will to help people who are in need, but on the other – representatives of different culture, religion and rase arouse suspicion, fear and aversion.’ (Jelena Sologube)
‘The refugee issue is a lot discussed in mass media in many countries. It was interesting to find out problems faced by our neighboring countries. I chose to examine some publication on Sweden’s experience, including statistic information and interviews with refugees. It helped me to understand what problems we may face in Latvia after refugee arrival. The discussion gave better understanding and orientation on this issue. As well as to present and express my own opinion.’ (Zanna Jakovleva)
Thanks to all participants of the discussion, and special thanks go to Victor and Yegor for the event recording and photo taking, which will allow other participants of the project to keep up with Latvian youth activities.