With a view of maintaining a close dialogue with civil society, EASO has set up a Consultative Forum as mechanism for the exchange of information and pooling of knowledge.
The Consultative Forum is open to relevant civil society organisations and relevant competent bodies operating in the field of asylum policy at local, regional, national, European or International level. In other words, every interested organisation can register for membership to the EASO Consultative Forum. To date, the Consultative Forum Registry includes a variety of stakeholders ranging from NGOs, IGOs, academia, think tanks, representatives from Member State authorities and EU institutions.
Different activities are implemented and civil society organisations are consulted in various different ways, including:
- Consultative Forum Meetings: Small Scale Thematic Meetings and Annual Plenary Meetings;
- Consultations and on-line consultations including surveys on key EASO documents such as the Work Programme, the Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU, the General Annual Report as well as consultations on draft training modules, practical tools and guides;
- Direct involvement of selected CSOs in various EASO activities through invitations to thematic conferences, meetings, workshops, working parties and expert meetings.
Highlights of Consultative Forum activities in 2020
2020 has been a year of uprecenedent challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated European citizen's lives and presented significant challenges to the economy, employment as well as to migration and asylum issues within the EU. With a view of ensuring business continuity, the EASO Consultative Forum quickly adapted to the new situation and adjusted its activities accordingly. Given the current COVID situation, the following activities were organised via online platforms:
- The 10th edition of the annual online plenary meeting, held in the mornings of 13 and 14 October and the overall theme focused on the evolution of EASO over the last ten years and perspectives for the future. The meeting consisted of both plenary discussions on day 1 as well as interactive thematic parallel break-out sessions on day 2. The event was a success with more than 200 participants following the plenary sessions and more than 100 participants participated in the different workshops.
- A thematic webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on asylum in the EU was organised on 23rd July and the webinar was actively followed by 88 participants including representatives from mostly NGOs as well as IGOs, academia, think tanks, Member States authorities, EU institutions and EASO staff.
Six electronic consultations were carried out with more than 244 contributions received. The consultations concerned:
- call for feedback on the 2018 EASO Annual Report on the situation of Asylum;
- call for feedback on the EASO 2021 Work Programme;
- call for input to the 2019 Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum;
- call for feedback on the EASO Annual General Report 2019;
- Survey on the CF Plenary Meeting 2020;
- call for input of relevant publications for the early drafting phase of the AR 2020
Numerous CSOs also directly took part in many different EASO meetings and activities related to EASO operations, COI meetings, development of practical tools, training modules, material and training sessions, as well as activities in the context of the Vulnerability Expert Network (VEN).
More information on the workings of the Consultative Forum can be found
For any information, please contact the EASO Consultative Forum Contact Point at Consultative-Forum@easo.europa.eu.