Wednesday, 16 February 2011

NGOs on the Consultative Forum - ILGA Europe

Since EASO is still in its very early days, and there is as yet little to comment on in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, etc., it is interesting to focus on the expectations, hopes and challenges. I had earlier gathered a number of such comments in the form of positions adopted by various NGOs such as ECRE, ICRC, Amnesty, etc.

To further look into this issue, also since I am particularly interested in what civil society is expecting of EASO and how it sees the Consultative Forum, I thought it might be useful to get their feedback on some specific issues. Essentially, I’m asking them for their recommendations on the structure and procedure of the Consultative Forum; comments on how the Forum members may work to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness; and the particular organisation’s substantive priorities for the Forum.

The first post in this ‘series’ presents the comments provided by ILGA Europe (thanks!), that gave the following feedback:

The Forum’s efficiency and effectiveness will indeed be quite a challenge. Since the Fundamental Rights Platform of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency is, so far, the only existing model of an EU agency civil society platform, it is possible that EASO’s Consultative Forum could be modelled on these lines. Being a specialised NGO, focusing on LGBTI issues, we will rely on strategic cooperation with the more generalist asylum-oriented NGOs.

Nonetheless, our substantive focus will in fact be to ensure increased visibility for specialised NGOs and theses, such as ours. We would also strive to see that the Forum, or Forum working groups if established, is given due attention with regard to the input it would give to EASO’s missions, as outlined in the establishing Regulation namely: ‘pooling of good practice...between MS; activities relating to information on countries of origin; use of all relevant sources of information, including...NGOs; establish and develop training for members of all national administrations and courts, and national services responsible for asylum matters in the MS’...”

More NGO responses to follow.

If you are or represent an NGO and would like to give your feedback to the three above-mentioned queries, please do get in touch with me!

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