Eastern Partnership Panel on Migration and Asylum
The partnership is to promote the integration into the EU of the six countries bordering the EU; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldavia, Ukraine and Belarus. The partnership is divided into different panels according to different policy areas. Sweden provides the support function in the panel that deals with migration and asylum issues.
In December 2011 the Söderköping Process was handed over to the Eastern Partnership and the Panel on Migration and Asylum was established. By request of the European Commission, a support function for the Panel was established at the Swedish Migration Agency. Through this function, the Swedish Migration Agency provides support for the work of the Government Offices, concerning the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) in the eastern dimension. The work of the panel is led by the European Commission (DG HOME) and the Agency is thus supporting the Commission and the participating countries in planning and carrying out panel meetings and expert meetings.
Each year two panel meetings and two expert meetings are organized, focusing on different policy areas of concern for both EU member states and the Eastern partnership countries such as asylum, trafficking, internal displacement, integration and labour migration. The meetings provide a platform for exchange of information and best practices among the concerned states. A close cooperation with CARIM East has also made it possible to provide research and case studies in connection to the meetings.
The Söderköping Process website has been transferred to the Panel on Migration and Asylum and is managed by IOM in Kiev. News, background materials and research reports are published on the website.
In the spring of 2008, Sweden and Poland jointly initiated a discussion on strengthening and intensifying the relations with the EU's closest neighbours to the east: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldavia, Ukraine and Belarus. This initiative resulted in the Eastern Partnership, which was launched at a summit meeting held in Prague in May 2009.