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Publication date 08.09.2008

Migration conference in Paris

On 8 and 9 September this year the French Ministry for Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Mutually-Supportive Development organised a conference entitled „Building a Europe of Asylum”.

The participants invited to the conference included the ministers responsible for asylum in 27 EU Member States, the representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, as well as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the representatives of non-governmental organisations.

The Conference is atttended by Mr Piotr Stachańczyk, the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Interior and Administration and Ms Monika Prus, the Director of the Migration Policy Department.

Apart from the plenary session which will take place on Monday before noon and which is open for the media, there will be three thematic meeting where the following issues will be discussed :

  1. Practical co-operation in matters of asylum: summary and outlook.
  2. The treatment of requests for asylum from outside the EU and development of co-operation with third countries.
  3. The future of the Common European Asylum System.

Work on the creation of the Common European Asylum System began after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in May 1999 on the basis of the Guidelines of the European Council from Tampere. At the first phase (1999-2005), it aimed at the harmonisation of legal frameworks of Member States by means of establishment of common minimum standards. The objectives of the second phase of the Common European Asylum Sysytem, laid down in the Hague Programme (2004) will include the establishment of the common asylum procedure and uniform status for those granted asylum or subsidiary protection, as well as the reinforcement of practical cooperation between the national authorities responsible for asylum issues and the strenghtening of the external dimension of asylum.

Many years of experience of the Member States in the field of asylum, as well as practical cooperation and exchange of information between the national institutions responsible for asylum issues, allowed for building a coherent asylum system. The panel discussions will concern the development of coherent, harmonised international protection and the increase of solidarity and responsibility of the Member States in thhe field of asylum. In addition, the discussion will concern Chapter IV of the European Pact on Migration and Asylum which deals with asylum issues. One of the main issues discussed during the conference is to be the establishment of a uniform asylum procedure by 2010 (2012 at the latest). The tasks, form and organisation of the European Support Office which should anwer the needs of the Member States and support decision-making processes will also be discussed.

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