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Senior Level Review Meeting in the East-Central European Four Plus Two Cross-Border Co-operation Enhancement Process



On 16-18 September 2002, the SMB and UNHCR jointly convened a senior level review meeting in Kolmården within the framework of the East-Central European Four plus Two Cross-Border Co-operation Enhancement (Söderköping) Process. The meeting aimed to review the progress made since the launch of the Söderköping process in 2001 and discuss the future of the process and its linkage with other similar sub-regional or broader initiatives.

The meeting was funded by SIDA and UNHCR. The event was attended by senior migration and border guard officials from Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, delegates from Latvia and Moldova as observers, as well as representatives of the EC, IOM, UNHCR, the SMB and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

The first day of the meeting focused on reviewing progress since 2001. An overview of the Söderköping process development and its impact on cross-border co-operation was presented by UNHCR. Country representatives gave updates on developments in the field of asylum, migration and border management and cross-border co-operation and evaluation of the Söderköping process. They were followed by contributions from the Swedish MFA, the SMB, UNHCR, IOM and the EC.

The second day of the meeting dealt with the evolving context. The EC outlined the EU strategy in Eastern and Central Europe. The SMB, IOM and UNHCR presented their current activities in the region and their vision of the further Söderköping process development. This was followed by group discussions on asylum and solutions, migration management, and the future of the Söderköping process.

Based on the outcome of these discussions, the participants agreed, inter alia, to:

  • confirm the participation of Latvia and Moldova as full-fledged members of the process and extend an invitation to participate to Estonia, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia; have one yearly meeting of all ten countries participating in the process and hold meetings of cluster counties (Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine as northern cluster; Hungary, Slovakia, and Ukraine as central cluster; and Moldova, Romania and Ukraine and southern cluster) as appropriate maintaining a flexible approach;
  • possibly invite the Russian Federation as an observer to selected meetings;
  • consider ways of involving NGOs into the process;
  • consider such themes as interviewing techniques, the return of rejected asylum seekers, integration, citizenship and naturalisation of recognised refugees, etc., for future seminars;
  • request the EC to support the process with funding, and establish a secretariat to co-ordinate the Söderköping process.

Senior Level Review Meeting in the East-Central European Four Plus Two Cross-Border Co-operation Enhancement Process

Concluding Document by Co-Chairs (23 KB)

  The Project is funded
by the European
The Project is implemented
by the International
Organization for Migration