On 8 October 2015 in Luxembourg will take place the High level Conference on the Eastern Mediterranean – Western Balkans Route.
Jean Asselborn, minister for Foreign and European Affairs, minister for Immigration and Asylum, and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the Commission, convened this meeting, in order to discuss with all relevant partners the importance of this route in the increased migratory flows coming from the Middle East.
In order to have a comprehensive approach on the issue, it will be a joint meeting of Ministers for Home Affairs (responsible for migration and asylum) and of Ministers for Foreign Affairs, together with their counterparts from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, as well as from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia). Associated countries (Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland) are also invited.
Representatives of UNHCR, International Organization for Migration, World Food Program, as well as of Frontex and EASO, will be invited to present the situation on the ground.
The key areas of discussion will be:
- increasing support to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, the countries of first asylum hosting most Syrian refugees, to help them face the pressure
- supporting all affected transit countries to improve reception, registration and asylum processing capabilities
- enhancing cooperation to fight organised crime responsible for migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings
- addressing the root causes of forced displacement
- engaging with countries of origin of irregular migrants
The high level conference is expected to adopt a declaration. This declaration will set out the main principles, goals and actions participants will jointly subscribe to and will undertake, to ensure full protection for refugees, orderly management of borders and return of persons not entitled to international protection.