|Dr. Robert Visser, Executive Director, European Asylum Support Office|
|Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director, Human Rights Directorate, Council of Europe|
|David Reisenzein, Liaison Officer, Frontex|
|Kris Pollet, Senior Legal & Policy Officer, European Council of Refugees and Exiles|
|Aspasia Papadopoulou, Senior Advocacy Officer, European Council of Refugees and Exiles|
|Dr. Dirk Vanheule, Migration Law Professor, University of Antwerp|
|Anne Dussart, Head of the Social Programs, Department Asylum and Migration, Caritas International Belgium|
Asylum is granted to people fleeing persecution or serious harm in their own country and are 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), aims 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 2011 reached just over 300,000, with the highest number being reported in France and Germany and as such, there is an urgent need to raise awareness.
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, and 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.
This timely International Symposium will examine the current situation facing those who need asylum/protection and will 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
Dr Dirk Vanheule, Professor, Migration Law, University of Antwerp (confirmed)
Current Status of the Common European Asylum System - Lessons Learned and New Challenges Ahead
Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director, Human Rights Directorate, Council of Europe (confirmed)
Kris Pollet, Senior Legal & Policy Officer, European Council of Refugees and Exiles (confirmed)
|10:45||First Round of Discussions|
|11:15||Morning Coffee Break|
|11:30||Relocation and Resettlement of Asylum Seekers in Europe
Dr Robert Visser, Executive Director, European Asylum Support Office (confirmed)
|12:00||Second Round of Discussions|
Fundamental Rights Implications of Europe's Border Management
David Reisenzein, Liaison Officer, Frontex (confirmed)
Anne Dussart, Department Asylum and Migration: Head of the Social Programs, Caritas International Belgium (confirmed)
|14:15||Third Round of Discussions|
Influence of European Asylum Policy on International Refugee Protection
Aspasia Papadopoulou, Senior Advocacy Officer, European Council on Refugees and Exiles (confirmed)
|15:30||Fourth Round of Discussions|
|16:00||Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks|
|16:10||Networking Reception and Refreshments|