The transnational network Welcome to Europe celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The independent, donation-funded initiative was launched in late summer 2009 by noborder activists on the Greek island of Lesbos. The idea was born in order to support refugees and migrants on their difficult journey to and through Europe with useful information and counselling in transit.
As a result, the volunteers began to create multilingual flyers that should provide guidance and overview, e.g. on the Dublin system, asylum procedures, detention and deportation, medical care, access to the labour market, family reunification or legal aid centers in different cities.
The collected materials became the basis for the four-language website w2eu.info , which was set up in 2010 and meanwhile contains a wealth of information in English, French, Arabic and Farsi. Now the webguide has contact points, practical tips and reports for most European countries and North Africa. Many country sections are fed with various thematical chapters about the factual rights and situations in each place.
In addition to the information work, volunteers of Welcome to Europe also participate in numerous other projects and networks dedicated to the protection of refugees and migrants and the right to freedom of movement.
The brochure 10 Years Network Welcome to Europe (PDF in English) offers an informative review on the past decade, highlighting some of the initiative’s milestones and struggles.