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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The roundtables provided a space for exchanges and reflection with a wide variety of actors, each with their own specific perspective, experience and expertise on migration and development. The outcomes were presented to all partner countries at the Rabat Process Senior Officials’ Meeting held in Brussels at the beginning of May and helped to stimulate and feed into discussions on the new programme and strategic framework for the dialogue.

The Rabat Process multi-annual programmes are renewed every three years and officially adopted at ministerial level during the Euro-African Ministerial Conferences on Migration and Development. Leading up to these cornerstone events, an intergovernmental consultation process takes place, consisting of Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM) and regular meetings of the Rabat Process Steering Committee. The results and recommendations of the four roundtables– the first consultation exercise of this kind in the history of the dialogue– have helped to enrich this year’s consultation process. Indeed, these roundtables were organised upon the initiative of Chair of the dialogue (Belgium) in order to stimulate the intergovernmental reflection process and to ensure the Rabat Process remains a relevant and well-adapted dialogue, able to respond to the challenges and opportunities created by migration flows in today’s world. 

The participants analysed each thematic pillar with a view to identifying gaps and needs in light of evolutions in the global migration context. Each roundtable gathered a different group of stakeholders, specialising in the respective thematic area. Priority was given to umbrella or platform organisations and care was taken to ensure a representative and balanced mixture of participants. The Rabat Process Secretariat and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) provided in-house expertise for each roundtable, thereby facilitating fruitful exchanges. The participants of the roundtables were as follows:

Roundtable on mobility and legal migration (pillar 1)

  • Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Belgium, as Chair of the Rabat Process
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • MADE West Africa / International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
  • Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
  • Save the Children – EU Office
  • University of Oxford / International Migration Institute (IMI)

Roundtable on Trafficking in Human Beings (pillar 2)

  • Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Belgium, as Chair of the Rabat Process
  • ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes) Belgium
  • International Catholic Migration Commission ICMC / MADE West Africa
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • PAYOKE association
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Roundtable on Migration and Development (pillar 3) 

  • Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Belgium, as Chair of the Rabat Process
  • African Caribbean and Pacific Young Professionals Network
  • African Development Bank (ADB)
  • African Diaspora Network-Europe (ADNE)
  • African Diaspora Youth living in Europe
  • United National Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • University of Amsterdam

Roundtable on Promoting International Protection (pillar 4)

  • Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Belgium, as Chair of the Rabat Process
  • Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
  • European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
  • International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
  • International Refugee Committee (IRC)
  • Odysseus Network / Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)