|Mr. Luis Cerdan Ortiz-Quitana, Legal Officer, European Asylum Support Office (EASO)|
|Mr. David Milner, Co-secretary, Steering Committee for Human Rights, Council of Europe|
|Mr. Michele Cavinato, Policy Officer (Legal), Policy & Legal Support Unit, Bureau for Europe, Office of the UNHCR|
|Mr. Jose Angel Oropeza, Director, Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean and Chief of Mission in Italy and Malta, International Organisation for Migration (IOM)|
|Mr. David Reisenzein, External Relations Officer, Frontex|
|Prof. Dr. Dirk Vanheule, Migration Law, University of Antwerp|
|Mr. Allan Leas, Acting Secretary General, European Council on Refugees and Exiles|
|Ms. Anne Dussart, Department Asylum and Migration: Head of the Social Programs – Caritas International Belgium|
Asylum is granted to people fleeing persecution or serious harm in their own country and are therefore in need of international protection. Granting asylum is an international obligation, first recognised in the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Refugees.
The Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which was reinforced by The Hague Programme (November 2004) and The Stockholm Programme (2009), is currently in its second phase with the Cypriot Presidency hoping to finalise the System by the end of 2012. The aim of the system is to harmonise asylum procedures in the European Union, increase cooperation between EU states on managing their external borders and develop high standards of protection for asylum seekers. The number of asylum seekers in the EU-27 during the first quarter of 2011 increased by 4,000 compared with the same period of the previous year. There is an urgent need to raise awareness due to this rapid increase, with nearly 66,000 persons seeking asylum in just one of the EU Member States.
The EU shares responsibility for managing refugees with non-EU countries and countries of first asylum. With the goal of improving the management of refugee flows and enhancing protection capacities in the regions from which many refugees originate, the EU is thus stepping up its collaboration with non-EU countries. To make this cooperation robust, the Commission undertook to develop the EU Regional Protection Programmes and Resettlement Schemes.
In 2009, the EU proposed to set up a European Asylum Support Office to regulate asylum applications as part of a drive to increase cooperation between EU States. In 2012, the Office is expected to develop methodologies and tools for collection and analysis of the data on the implementation of EU asylum law in Member States. This is essential for policy and law makers to improve the quality and effectiveness of the CEAS.
In recent years, the EU has been receiving an average of 1.8 million immigrants annually and as such immigration has become a key issue in the national politics of several Member States. This timely International Symposium will discuss the current situation of those in need of protection and assess the ongoing challenges that Europe is facing to increase the practical cooperation between member states, especially in relation to the collection of measurable data on asylum seekers. The Symposium offers a vital platform to incorporate gender considerations of vulnerable groups into the dialogue, as well as explore how policymakers can strike the balance vis-à-vis the challenges and tensions between protecting human rights and ensuring that immigration controls are not undermined.
The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate with local and regional practitioners and policymakers at EU level.
|09:15||Registration and Morning Refreshments|
Chair’s Welcome and Opening Remarks
Prof. Dr. Dirk Vanheule, Migration Law, University of Antwerp (confirmed)
Towards A Common European Asylum System
Mr. Luis Cerdan Ortiz-Quitana, Legal Officer, European Asylum Support Office (EASO) (confirmed)
Mr. David Milner, Co-secretary, Steering Committee for Human Rights, Council of Europe (confirmed)
|10:45||First Round of Discussions|
|11:25||Morning Coffee Break|
Improving Multi-Level Cooperation and Collection of Data on Asylum Policy and Systems in Europe
Mr. Michele Cavinato, Policy Officer (Legal), Policy & Legal Support Unit, Bureau for Europe, Office of the UNHCR (confirmed)
|12:00||Second Round of Discussions|
Improving Reallocation and Resettlement of Asylum-Seekers in Europe
Mr. Jose Angel Oropeza, Director, Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean and Chief of Mission in Italy and Malta, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) (confirmed)
Mr. David Reisenzein External Relations Officer, Frontex (confirmed)
|14:00||Third Round of Discussions|
|14:40||Afternoon Coffee Break|
Case Study – A Perspective from Asylum Seekers: Providing Adequate Services and Ensuring Effective Systems in Europe
Mr. Allan Leas, Acting Secretary General, European Council on Refugees and Exiles (confirmed)
Ms. Anne Dussart, Department Asylum and Migration: Head of the Social Programs – Caritas International Belgium (confirmed)
|15:25||Fourth Round of Discussions|
|16:05||Chair’s Summary and Closing Remarks|