Interim Senior-Level Consultations of the Four-Country Cross-Border Co-operation Enhancement (Söderköping) Process
On 26-27 November 2001, Interim Senior-Level Consultations were held in Warsaw within the framework of the Four-Country Cross-Border Co-operation Enhancement (Söderköping) Process. The event aimed to review the progress reached under the process; reflect the inter-linkage of the Söderköping process with the broader initiatives, such as the 1996 Geneva Conference Follow-up Process; update on legislative and administrative developments in the asylum and migration management field in the participating countries; agree on a plan of action until 2002 and on the next activities to be organised; and proceed in a consolidated needs assessment and in assigning specific tasks and specific commitments to various international organisations.
The event was hosted by the Polish MFA and brought together senior migration and border guard officials from Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, as well as representatives of the OSCE/ODIHR, IOM and UNHCR.
The participants evaluated the process as a timely endeavour and as a forum where concrete requests for capacity building support (such as technical and material assistance, know-how and experience sharing as well as financial assistance for the establishment of refugee reception but also pre-deportation facilities) could be raised and discussed. They agreed that an approach to organise combined training and cross-border co-operation workshops for working level staff operating at or close to borders in a decentralised manner, proved successful and should be pursued. In the context of other initiatives, the Söderköping process was seen as an important effort to bridge the gap between the broader co-operation mechanisms.
The participants endorsed the Proposals for consideration at the Warsaw Senior Level Consultations. The planned follow-up activities included:
a Söderköping Review Meeting, May 2002;
3 two-country seminars for working level border guard staff;
a round table for municipal asylum and migration officials from the four capitals.