On 13 December 2016, Multi Kulti Collective and the Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants organized the first NIEM meeting with participants from different stakeholders relevant to refugee integration in Bulgaria. On the eve of the holiday season, both organizers expressed their gratitude for the partnership and support for protection and integration of refugees in Bulgaria throughout the year. Invitations were extended to decision makers, experts from governmental institutions, local authorities, international organizations, social partners, local NGOs, and beneficiaries of international protection in their personal capacity as partners and supporters of refugee related activities of both organisations. The meeting was held in an informal format in the evening over wine and authentic foreign food prepared by refugee and migrant-run local restaurants.
The objective of the event was to present the NIEM project focusing on its aims, and to seek involvement and support of participants for successful implementation of project activities and achieving project goal to prepare key actors in the integration field to better face challenges and improve outcomes for beneficiaries of international protection. By presenting the NIEM project at its early stage the national project partners aimed to give potential partners and supporters the feeling of ownership of the project and its goals. The organizers and the participants expressed their confidence that their cooperation and partnership will be strengthened in the future, including within the new European project “National evaluation mechanism of integration: Measuring and improving the integration of beneficiaries of international protection”, in which Multi Kulti Collective and the Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants are national partners.