October 12-13, Stockholm hosts Senior Level Review Meeting of the Söderköping Process.  The Meeting will gather ministerial level asylum, migration and border guard officials from Belarus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine, as well as representatives of the European Commission (EC), the Swedish Migration Board (SMB), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the EU Presidency. The Government of Sweden will chair the meeting, the European Delegation's in Ukraine press release out on Thursday reads.

The meeting will function as a mechanism to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation among the countries involved, and will identify possible joint actions aimed at supporting each other and strengthening capacity in managing migration and improving the protection of asylum seekers and refugees, with particular focus on the needs of Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.

The main goals of the meeting:

  • assess the outcome of thematic workshops of Söderköping Process conducted in 2006, in particular the workshop on Migration Trends in Eastern and Central Europe and Regional Meeting of Managers of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers, and report on the progress reached;
  • update on the most recent developments in the EU asylum and migration legislation;
  • set priorities and make recommendations on issues to be addressed within the Söderköping Process for 2007.

The Söderköping process was launched in 2001 with the objective to facilitate cross-border co-operation between EU acceding and candidate countries and Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine on asylum, migration and border management issues. It includes now ten countries situated along the enlarged EU border: Belarus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine. The process is funded by the EU and implemented by the UNHCR, the SMB and the IOM.

"The Soderkoping process is an excellent initiative for creating good cooperation between countries across the EU border in order to increase our capacity to uphold well managed migration", says Mr. Lars Pahlsson, Director of International Affairs at the Swedish Migration Board.


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