Today, the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, Ambassador Drahoslav Štefánek, hosted the 3rd meeting of the Network of Focal Points on Migration. More than 40 participants from relevant ministries dealing with migration issues at national level got together to exchange information and discuss Council of Europe activities and national policies related to migration and asylum.
“I am happy that the Network continues to grow and currently 44 member states have designated their Focal Point on Migration. I find it extremely useful to have this opportunity to exchange information and views with you on Council of Europe activities related to migration and asylum, as well as on national challenges, policies and practices”, said Ambassador Štefánek in his opening speech.
During the meeting, the Special Representative presented the new Council of Europe Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe (2021 – 2025), adopted on 5 May 2021 by the Committee of Ministers. Other topics on the agenda included a presentation of the Annex of the Action Plan, which includes themes and issues on which technical assistance and co-operation projects on migration can be developed, in line with action plan priorities, and an update of the relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. In addition, a new interactive website for the Focal Points on Migration was presented, which aims at facilitating communication between the Council of Europe and the members of the Network.
Participants raised recent key developments on migration and asylum policies and practices in their member states, and they engaged in a dialogue enabling inter-sectoral and cross-border exchanges.
The aim of the Network is to exchange good practices and enhance co-operation between the different stakeholders and the Council of Europe. The Network was created as a result of an informal exchange of views on migration in the Committee of Ministers in 2018. After holding annual meetings in 2019 and 2020, the Network will meet twice a year from 2021 onwards.