Panel Meeting on National Refugee Status Determination Procedures
The second meeting of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration and Asylum was held in Tbilisi on 3-4 May 2011. Participants from all EaP countries and 12 EU Member States as well as UNHCR, IOM and ICMPD attended the meeting, which was chaired by Rob Rozenburg (European Commission). Georgia and Germany were co-organizers of this EaP Panel dealing mainly with national Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures.
The first day started with welcome addresses and opening remarks (EC, Georgia, UNHCR and Germany). General Panel business was the first set of topics that included a presentation of EEAS on the state of play concerning EU – Eastern Partnership countries. Then Hungary gave a short update on thePrague Process Targeted Initiative (PPTI) and the four pilot projects that will be implemented. The work programme of the Panel for 2013 was discussed and details on further Panel activities in 2012 were given.
The part of the meeting devoted to RSD procedures started with presentations on the EU Asylum Acquis (Germany) and the development of asylum legislation in Eastern European countries (UNHCR). Georgia presented the recent developments concerning eGovernment initiatives and other far-reaching reforms.
In the afternoon a Tour de Table on recent developments and major challenges provided information from all participating states. The final presentation on day 1 was given by Romania on quality initiative projects for RSD.
The second day started with a short UNHCR presentation of the “Asylum Systems Quality Initiative in Eastern European and South Caucasus”. The project proposal was explained and feedback on participation will be requested by UNHCR. The meeting continued with presentations and discussions on key issues in asylum case management, such as access to the RSD Procedure (Poland) and reception conditions and social benefits during the RSD procedure (Belgium). Both presentations compared different organizational solutions in EU Member States and the situation in their respective country (access to the RSD procedure in Poland; reception management in Belgium). The following presentation gave an overview on judicial review of protection status decisions at European level, the situation in Germany and finally some personal views of referee judge involved in RSD cases (Germany).
Supporting the asylum case-workers was a next subject on the agenda. The first part of the presentation was on Country of Origin Information (COI) and the legal requirement of providing objective, comprehensive, unbiased and current information (Germany). In the second part Sweden reported on the European Asylum Curriculum (EAC). This toolbox offers high-quality training through experienced and authorized trainers. In the framework of the Prague Process a pilot project will be offered for train-the-trainer in partner countries.
At the end of the meeting, Georgia summarized the second day of the EaP Panel meeting and EC and relevant States gave an update on the activities in 2012. Finally, the topic of the expert workshop to be organized by Romania and Armenia was decided: Country of Origin Information in the context of the RSD procedure.