The second Consultative Forum meeting of the European Asylum Support Office is now just round the corner...25-26 November (Valletta, Malta). This is the main event where EASO meets civil society, in its broad definition, to discuss its activities and receive feedback.
We've posted a number of our own commentaries on the Consultative Forum, the main observations relating to the sheer limited willingness of non-governmental organisations to actively engage with EASO, for various reasons. We're approaching the 2nd Forum meeting with a certain level of expectation, a level higher than that with which we approach last year's inaugural meeting.
This year we want to be given a clear map of how and when NGOs will be consulted in EASO's processes. We want to understand why NGO input was omitted from the Agency's Annual Report on the state of asylum in the EU, and be told whether we are to expect the same in next year's report. We would also like to know if NGOs will ever be granted the opportunity to comment on the Agency's future Work Programme before its actual finalisation and adoption.
Essentially, we would like to be told in an open and honest manner, whether NGOs should actually bother spending very precious time, money and human resources in engaging with the Agency. As stated in earlier posts, we're still of the opinion that, despite all the above difficulties, engagement with EASO remains necessary. But how much more effective would engagement be if it were to be not only 'necessary', but also worthwhile?
For those not attending the Forum but nonetheless interested in all things EASO, here you can find the working documents we've received in preparation of the meeting. You'll find:
- 2011 Annual Report (final);
- 2013 Work Programme (final in design);
- Training update and new development plan 2013 (draft);
- Training Strategy;
- Consultative Forum Operational Plan (final). We find it particularly ironic that this last document is described as 'final'...when our information tells us that only a few eyes have actually seen it before this moment!
We've also asked EASO to share a list of those organisations attending the meeting. The list below is what we've received, to date. We're also expecting to receive a list of those organisations that have registered to be listed in the Consultative Forum, whether or not they will be attending next week's meeting.
UNHCR, JRS Malta, Caritas Europa, Danish Refugee Council, MAHR, JRS Europe, ECRE, IGC, Lithuanian Red Cross, Amnesty International, aditus, EESC, IARLJ, CCME, RCEU, Forum Refugies-Cosi, Helsinki Foundation for HR, NOAS, Asylum Aid, Belgian Refugee Council, Odysseus Network, ICMPD, Italian Refugee Council, Greek Refugee Council, Terre d’Asile, Dutch Refugee Council, Organisation for Aid to Refugees (CZ), Halina Niec Legal Aid Centre, Norwegian Refugee Council, CEAR, ERA, MEC.