"We want to be more visible in the future"

By Christian BlockLex Kleren

For years, the National Council for Foreigners was mainly preoccupied with itself. Under the chairmanship of Munir Ramdedovic, the consultative body seems to have found its place again this year. Nevertheless, a reform is urgently needed.

We go to Belval for the interview. In the premises of the University of Luxembourg we meet the president of the National Council for Foreigners, Munir Ramdedovic. Because the advisory body does not have its own offices. Changing this is only one of many proposals that the body, which was newly founded in 2008, included in its report on the reform of the integration law from that very year. "We want to be more visible in the future", says the Montenegrin in an interview with the Lëtzebuerger Journal.

That the Foreigners' Council is willing to take on more responsibility, according to its chairman, is not self-evident. For years, the body functioned more badly than well. The voice of the Foreigners' Council was not heard in the political discourse. Internal disputes paralysed the "Conseil national pour étrangers" (CNE), which was then also regularly the subject of parliamentary questions – especially from the opposition.

But it seems that after just under a year under Ramdedovic's chairmanship, the foundation has been laid for the CNE to fulfil the tasks assigned to it by law. In plain language, this means taking on the problems that foreigners encounter in Luxembourg or giving its opinion on integration issues.

It is probably largely due to Ramdedovic's organisational and negotiating skills that the internal tensions could be smoothed out and that an approach to political work became possible. The Montenegrin himself is modest in an interview with the Journal. The team worked well, he says, and five expert opinions and one recommendation, supported by an absolute majority, were adopted on time. Even Minister Corinne Cahen (DP) reportedly said at the end-of-year meeting on the 1st of December that the CNE had not functioned in seven of her eight years as minister and had only started to work regularly this year.

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