The Middle Council Rounds


Spanda’s proprietary Middle Council methodology, a spin-off from the Tea for Peace programme of the Jubilo Project, consists of a multi-stakeholder transformative participatory process merging the bottom-up and the top-down approaches to reach a shared Middle Outcome comprising both perspectives.
The Middle Council methodology is applied here to the European migration crisis in order to identify resourceful tools on how to improve the migrant’s lives, and on how to implement the findings. To this end, a series of Middle Council Rounds meetings (MCR) with community leaders, policy-makers, academia, and the media – top-down – together with migrants, civil societies, and local communities – bottom-up – on the topic of “Migration, Human Rights, Security, and Financial Inclusion” will run from May to November 2016 in The Netherlands.
The objectives are:
MC2§>  To raise awareness on the issue; facilitate the dialogue among all stakeholders and, conjointly, draft a shared Middle Outcome policy recommendation to the Dutch government, and to the proper EU bodies, on how, in compliance with the International human rights law and taking into due account security issues, to advance both the domestic and the European legislation on migration so to enhance the life of migrants to a higher humanitarian standard.
§>   To explore the potential financial inclusion of migrants in the sociaMC3l entrepreneurship sector, respecting their dignity and ensuring work befitting their education and skills; and, possibly, to facilitate the insertion of a number of them — selected from the Dutch Asylum eekers Central Reception facility in Ter Apel (Groningen) — into this specific job market.

Activities & Locations
ICJThe first Middle Council Round will be held at the Ter Apel facility, it will be followed by two other sessions in The Hague, interspersed by interviews with the convened policy-makers to assess if, and to which extent, they were able to implement into their respective institutional activities the Middle Outcome findings.
The final Middle Council Recommendation to the Dutch government and to the EU representatives, and the printed and video recorded documentation of the whole Middle Council Round cycle, will be presented to the international audience and to the press at the International Court of Justice at the Peace Palace in The Hague, and subsequently made available for consultation through the Spanda and the dedicated Middle Council websites, and related social networks.

Top-down representatives of UNHCR, IOM, ECHR, community leaders, Dutch & EU policy-makers, academia, domestic & international media outlets, social entrepeneurs.
Bottom-up representatives of migrants, local community, Ter Apel facility, Amnesty International, VluchtelingenWerk, civil society.

Timeline 2016             (main events — definitive dates and some locations t.b.d.)
1 ~ End-May                1st Middle Council round, Ter Apel
2 ~ Mid-June               1st Interview with policy-makers
3 ~ End-June               2nd Middle Council round,  The Hague
4 ~ Mid-September   2nd Interview with policy-makers
5 ~ End-September   3rd Middle Council round, The Hague
6 ~ November         Presentation of the Middle Council Recommendation, International Court of Justice, Peace Palace, The Hague.


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