BERN, SWITZERLAND- The newly formed European Network of Filipino Diaspora or ENFiD is all set for the Second Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora on February 25-27, 2013 at the Hotel Dusit Thani in Manila.
The official ENFiD delegation of some ten representatives will be led by its chair Gene Alcantara of the UK. The others will come from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Italy.
On the second day of the summit, Alcantara will report on the ENFiD’s formation after a Europe-wide summit held in Rome in September last year, and on ENFiD’s formal setting-up in Valletta, Malta last month.
ENFid representatives will present to the global gathering the Rome Declaration of 2012, as well as the ENFiD’s constitution and bylaws. A board of officers along with advisers was also constituted in the Malta meeting.
“We will tell the story of how Filipinos in Europe shared common experiences and learnings and are trying to apply them in building a strong Filipino diaspora in the EU,” Alcantara said in explaining ENFiD’s participation in the summit.
“We Filipinos in Europe are already 800,000-strong and rising, and we are beginning to speak with one voice,” he added. The biggest Filipino populations in Europe are in the UK, Italy, and Spain.
But the ENFiD chair emphasized the ties that continue to bind the Filipinos overseas to the home country.
“Europe is already our adopted home. But together we still remit annually up to 3.35 billion US dollars to the home country. We are the new Europeans, and yet we are forever Philippine,” Alcantara added.
The summit program includes participation by the delegates in the 27th anniversary celebration of the EDSA people power revolution.
The ENFiD delegates will also participate in workshops on diaspora philanthropy and medical missions; global legal assistance and advocacy; arts and culture exchanges and tourism initiatives; as well as on overseas Filipino returns and reintegration; and on diaspora investment and entrepreneurship.
ENFiD was started last year as an international networking association that will propagate the sense of Filipino “nationhood” away from the home country; inculcate a strong sense of shared destiny and aspirations; and be a catalyst in promoting resolutions to issues and arising problems among Filipinos in Europe.
ENFiD will register this year as a regional voluntary organization in Malta, which is part of the European Union. (Diomedes Eviota - Bern, Switzerland)