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As the implementation period of the Rome Programme draws to a close, a wide consultation process was launched to develop the new multi-annual programme for the dialogue 2018-2020. Upon Belgium’s initiative as soon-to-be Chair and with support from the Steering Committee, the traditional consultation process was extended this year to include representatives of European and African civil society, international organisations, members of the diaspora and academics in an informal or “parallel” consultation process. This informal consultation process comprised two phases, gathering different groups of external observers. Firstly, the Rabat four thematic roundtables in Brussels in April, followed by a workshop with mainly African participants in July, in Dakar.

Mrs Barbara Delcourt, the Belgian National Focal Point for the Rabat Process, talked to us about Belgium’s strategic vision as Chair and its special role within the new multi-annual cooperation programme. For Belgium, chairing the dialogue implies not only presiding over meetings of the Steering Committee but also guiding the dialogue through the reflection and elaboration process. In early 2018, this new programme will replace the current Rome Programme and will be adopted at the next ministerial conference of the Rabat Process.

Developing the new multi-annual cooperation program 2017-2020

As agreed by all Rabat Process partner countries, drafting committees will be organised in Brussels between June and July 2017 in view of the Fifth Euro-African Ministerial Conference, to be held in early 2018. 

In view of the Fifth Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development, set to take place in early 2018, an informal consultation process was launched to gather input from a wide-range of relevant stakeholders and observers Four roundtables were organised in April 2017 in Brussels focusing on key thematic pillars of the dialogue, namely migration and development, legal migration and mobility, the fight against trafficking in human beings and international protection and asylum; and brought together selected observers, including civil society, academics and international organisations.

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On the occasion of the Rabat Process Steering Committee held on 21 March 2017, the Chairmanship of the Rabat Process passed from Republic of Mali to the Kingdom of Belgium. As new chair, Belgium will preside over future sessions of the Steering Committee and continue to be a driving force behind this migration dialogue.

Rabat Process Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 2-3 May 2017 in Brussels.

Under the chairmanship of the Kingdom of Belgium, around 60 Rabat Process partner countries and organisations will gather in Brussels to discuss the future political and operational priorities of the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process).