NGOs discuss EASO’s present and future work at the agency’s second Consultative Forum

by zoejardiniere

30.11.2012 The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has held its second Consultative Forum plenary meeting this week. Representatives from over 30 civil society organisations attended the forum, which took place on 25 and 26 November in Valetta, Malta, including UNHCR, ECRE and many ECRE member organisations.

EASO’s work over the past year, as well as an operational plan for on-going consultation between EASO and civil society were presented in the plenary session along with presentations by MEP Cecilia Wikström and Dr. Catheryne Costello (Oxford University) on the Early Warning and Preparedness System (EWPS). Specific priority areas of EASO’s work such as the annual report, the work programme for 2013, EASO training systems, the EWPS and unaccompanied children were discussed during breakaway sessions,

Civil Society representatives commented on the challenges relating to the 2013 work programme and already looked forward towards the 2014 programme. Participants made recommendations, including to the EASO Management Board, to ensure meaningful and timely input from civil society organisations into EASO activities such as the next annual report on the situation of asylum in the EU, training activities and the early warning and preparedness system.

Executive Director of EASO, Robert K. Visser, has stated that he proposes to “consult civil society in a more structured and comprehensive manner in 2013” and that he sees EASO and civil society collaboration as capable of producing win-win results when it is carried out in circumstances of mutual respect.

For further information:

–         EASO Monitor Updates on the 2nd Consultative Forum Meeting November 2012

–         EASO 2013 Work Programme