Migration and Asylum Panel
The Migration and Asylum Panel is an international format for cooperation on migration, functioning on the basis of the Eastern Partnership Platform 1 – Democracy and Good Governance. Meetings and workshops on migration are held in the framework of the Panel to discuss burning issues such as legal and illegal migration, asylum issues, migration statistics, etc. The meetings are organized by one EU Member State and one Eastern Partnership country and are held several times a year. Participants of the meeting are EU Member States, member- countries of international organizations and Eastern Partnership countries. The first meeting of the Panel on Migration and Asylum in the current format was held on 9 December 2011.
The Panel was set up on the basis of the so-called Soderkoping process which was functioning during 2001 – 2011. This process, initiated by the Swedish EU Presidency at the time, was aimed to adequately respond to the new challenges that arose from the EU’s eastward enlargement and to facilitate better coordination on migration and asylum issues.
The Soderkoping process was funded by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From a partnership-based process in 2010, it gradually transformed into an intergovernmental cooperation. During the same year, Sweden was elected as Chair for a one year term. The Chair’s post was later abolished and substituted by co-organization where countries chair thematic directions.
The Soderkoping process, named after a Swedish town where it was launched, started in 2001 with a coordination meeting between the representatives of Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine and project partners – IOM, UNHCR and Swedish Migration Service.
In later years the process was joined by Latvia, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Estonia. In 2011, on the decision of the State Commission on Migration Issues of Georgia, the process was joined by Georgia. During the same year Armenia and Azerbaijan also became partners of the Process.
For additional information, please see: www.eapmigrationpanel.org