Policy Advocacy Group Continues with its Activities
Joint activities of the Policy Advocacy Group are aimed at improving the status and treatment of asylum seekers and irregular migrants, and establishing a clear migration policy in line with European standards. The first joint meeting of civil society organisations gathered in the Policy Advocacy Group (PAG) was held on Friday, February 20, 2015. It was dealing with the PAG plan of activities for the upcoming period.
The meeting of PAG was attended by: ASTRA, Balkan Centre for Migration and Humanitarian Activities (BCM), Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Group 484, Humanitarian Centre for Integration and Tolerance (HCIT), Initiative for Development and Cooperation (IDC), International Aid Network (IAN), Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre (NSHC) and PRAXIS.
Miroslava Jelacic, PAG Coordinator and Group 484 Legal Analyst points out that “the focus of PAG in 2015 will be monitoring the adoption and implementation of the Action Plan for Chapter 24 in the areas of migration, asylum and border control”. The document defines key measures that Serbia should take in order to meet the recommendations given by the EU in the report Screening Serbia, analytical examination of the acquis.
One of the first activities, says Miroslava Jelacic, will be to “find out about the Croatian experience in meeting European standards in the field of asylum”. Therefore, in March, Goranka Lalic Novak, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb will give a lecture on the possibilities to improve the asylum system in Serbia based on the Croatian experience.
In May, PAG will be working on developing success indicators of the Action Plan for Chapter 24, which will be the basis for monitoring the process of European integration of Serbia in the areas of migration, asylum and border controls.
As in the previous two years, PAG will insist on amendments to the Law on Asylum and participate in the public debate. The new Asylum Law is planned to be adopted in early 2016.
Policy Advocacy Group is conducting its activities within the project “Networking and Capacity Building for More Effective Migration Policy” supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Serbia. The project is implemented by Group 484 in partnership with the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and Belgrade Centre for Security Policy.