The 2023 ENIEC AM in Gdansk through the eyes of Charlotte Haggren

This was my second Annual Meeting with ENIEC. My first in the Hague last year. As I have been to Gdansk privately I did not join the guided trip but joined  in the Regional Center for Social Policy where Agnieszka Zabłocka Deputy Director of Regional Center for Social Policy described the Polish migration context in East-West migration and how particularly the City of Gdansk has made incredible contributions to a very large number of Ukrainian refugees .

Gdansk really  has lived up to being called the “city of equality”, where everyone is welcome, regardless of faith, origin or orientation.

Magdalena Nowak (IBSC) gave a lecture on the historical relations between Ukraine and Poland and even though their history is not uncomplicated due to different events the people in the two countries always seem to have helped and supported each other in times of need.

The session on Day two Session “Integration of Ukrainian female refugees in Poland” I found it very moving and as a physiotherapist it was interesting to hear the differences how Ukrainian physioterapists work compared to Polish and Swedish ones. In Sweden and Poland there is a more preventative focus and I can understand their frustration. It was nice to ehar that the women felt so welcomed by the people and families of Gdansk. Still, their expression of worry about elderly relatives left behind and who were not even free to communicate the truth about how they are doing was terrible to hear about.

During the session” ENIEC – present and future” when we worked in groups with different themes the general consensus seems to be that there are challenges to recruit new members and the horder political and economic conditions in Europe is a challenge. To find some way to work and network between Annual meetings was mentioned. Found this way of discussing very rewarding.

The dinner at the Index restaurant was just such a great social arrangement and great food. The informal relaxed atmosphere at ENIEC events is unique and creates opportunities for great networking.  It was so well arranged here in Gdansk too, so thanks to Weronika Kaminska Chair of the Organizing Committee for the great work.

I was unfortunately unable  to stay for day 3 but looking forward to the Annual Meeting in 2024 and also to be a member of the Communications group!

Written by Charlotte Haggren