EPAM is the meeting-place of European non-governmental organisations and networks seeking to contribute to the development of asylum and migration policy in the European Union. The Platform has been running on a voluntary basis since 1994. Quarterly meetings are co-chaired by the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and UNHCR, while quarterly working groups on asylum and migration are chaired respectively by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and the Migration Policy Group (MPG). New applications for membership are discussed and approved in the plenary session of the Platform.
EPAM members are NGOs that are:
UNHCR facilitates the coordination of the members.
What does EPAM offer?
Examples of achievements
EU Asylum, Migration and Integraytion Fund & European Migration Forum
Through its Statement on the Partnership Principle in the EU Asylum and Migration Fund and its Statement on the future EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Forum, the Platform successfully advocated for a greater role for civil society organisations.
Asylum & refugees
During the adoption procedure of the Asylum Procedures Directive, the EPAM focused its advocacy on safeguards for applicants, including in relation to safe third country and safe country of origin concepts; appeal procedures; access to legal assistance and other basic requirements for a fair process.
On the Qualification Directive, intensive efforts by Platform members both at national and European level were rewarded with the Council’s decision to include non-state persecution in the EU’s criteria for refugee protection.
Thanks to a regular coordination of information and advocacy strategies through EPAM’s migration sub-group, the European Commission obtained a considerable response from the EU NGOs and their national members to its November 2011 Green Paper proposal on reopening the EU family reunion directive. NGOs also presented a strong unified message at the EC’s public hearing, including a common statement signed by 75 EU and national NGOs. As a result, the resulting EC’s interpretative guidelines have drawn heavily from this statement.
Detention and removal
The Platform also advocated in favour of guarantees for deportees and limitations to the use of detention for the purpose of removal in the EU directive on common standards for return.