EXPERT PRACTITIONER PANEL 2:
Participation in Policy, Advocacy & Governance
European Commission Expert Group on the Views of Migrants
Nuria Diaz Guardia, European Commission
Nuria Diaz Guardia of the European Commission (EC) Directorate General for Migration & Home Affairs (DG HOME) presented the new EC Expert Group on the Views of Migrants in the Field of Migration, Asylum & Integration.
She described the background and context for the Expert Group's establishment, including:
- The current EC Better Regulation Agenda, which aims to ensure evidence-based EU policymaking that takes into account the views of those impacted by it.
- Well-established and numerous EC Expert Groups addressing a range of policy areas, but no specific group dedicated to obtaining the views of migrants.
- The success of an 18-month pilot action to establish a European Migrant Advisory Board (implemented in 2018-19 in the framework of the Urban Agenda), and the desire to make this initiative more stable and permanent.
- A broad 'human resources' aim to address the lack of diversity in EC staff by enabling people of all backgrounds to contribute to policymaking.
DG Home issued a call for applications from those interested in participating in the Expert Group in summer 2020, and held an online information session on the application process in mid-September. Just under 400 applications were received, from which 24 Expert Group members (increased from the original 20) were finally selected.
The Expert Group held its first meeting on 12 November 2020, at which members were informed about the preparation of the EU Action Plan on Integration & Inclusion (2021-27), which was adopted later in the same month. Future meetings will address initiatives in preparation, so there is sufficient time to incorporate the views and inputs of the Expert Group, and the Expert Group membership can propose areas it would like to focus on according to their specific expertise and interests.
In 2021, Expert Group meetings are planed to address the following migration policy initiatives and areas:
- January 2021: Planned EC Strategy on Returns & Readmissions.
- Spring 2021: Legal migration and talent partnerships with third countries.
- Pre/post-summer 2021: Implementation of the EU Action Plan on Integration & Inclusion.
Nuria emphasised that while DG Home established the Expert Group on the Views of Migrants, the group's input is also sought by other Directorates General responsible for policy areas such as social inclusion and employment. She concluded by pointing to the recent EU Asylum, Migration & Integration Fund (AMIF) Union Actions call for proposals, which includes as a priority actions to support the inclusion of migrants in policy design and evaluation, and to establish mechanisms for mutual learning across EU Member States in this area.