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The European Commission launched a call for applications to set up an expert group on the views of migrants in the fields of migration, asylum and integration policies. The deadline for applications has been extended to 28 September 2020.

On 16 September, the Commission's Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) ran an online information session with some 160 prospective applicants. Useful information about the application process and answers to frequently asked questions are summarised below. 

Scope of work of the group

While hundreds of other expert groups have already been providing input for the design of EU policies, there has not been targeted way to regularly consult migrants on issues that directly concern them at the EU level. The creation of the expert group comes to fill this gap and to ensure effective and tailored policy design and implementation. 

The group will have 20 members appointed for a period of two years. In addition, some applicants will be included in a reserve list and may be asked to substitute for members who may not be able to fulfil their full terms. 

Once selected, the experts are expected to meet two or three times per year. Each meeting would last a full day and will be held in Brussels or online, depending on the ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions. Relevant information about the policy issues the EC would like to consult on will be sent in advance of each meeting, allowing the experts enough time to prepare their opinions.

The expert group is expected to start work this autumn. The first consultation with the group would focus on integration policies, as DG HOME is currently working on the next Action Plan on integration and inclusion, to be introduced in late 2020. As the working priorities of the Commission develop further, future meetings will also focus on asylum- and migration-related policy, including within the context of education and employment, for example.  

For transparency reasons, once selected, the expert group members' names will be published in the Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities.

Types of applications 

Applicants must choose to apply as type A, B or C members.

⇒ Apply as Type A member if you want to join the expert group in a personal capacity

You should have:

  • A migrant background: this includes being a migrant such as a third-country national or a EU citizen born outside of the EU, as well as a descendant of migrants, i.e. a second or third generation migrant;
  • Good knowledge of English allowing active participation in the discussions (minimum C1 level);
  • At least five years - not necessarily consecutive - of professional experience working in the fields of migration, asylum or migrant integration; 
  • No conflict of interest (see more in the attached document)

⇒ Apply as a Type B member if you want to be appointed to represent a common interest

You should have:

  • A migrant background: this includes being a migrant such as a third-country national or a EU citizen born outside of the EU, as well as a descendant of migrants, i.e. a second or third generation migrant;
  • Proven capacity to represent effectively migrant stakeholders and links with a wider network of migrant organisations and communities;
  • Good knowledge of English allowing active participation in the discussions (minimum C1 level);
  • At least five years - not necessarily consecutive - of professional experience working in the fields of migration, asylum or migrant integration; 

⇒ Apply as a Type C member if you are an organisation representing the interest of migrants

You should be an organisations which:

  • Is legally based in one of the EU Member States;
  • Has proven competence and experience, including at the EU or international level, in areas relevant to migration, asylum and integration;
  • Proposes competent representatives (one member and one possible substitute) to represent your organisation within the expert group; they do not need to have five years of experience and do not have to be of migrant background;
  • Ensures the proposed representatives have good knowledge of English allowing active participation in the discussions (minimum C1 level)

Application documents

All applicants should submit the following documents:

  • A cover letter, preferably not exceeding two pages (when submitting as a Type C member, the focus should be on the work of the organisation and not its proposed representative);
  • A classification form (found in Annex I of the attached document);
  • A selection criteria form (found in Annex II of the attached document);
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) not exceeding three pages and preferably in the European format

NB: In addition to the above, Type A candidates should also submit a Standard Declaration of Interests (DOI) form (found in Annex III of the attached document).

More on documents, Annexes I, II and III, and how to fill these can all be found in the attached document. Applicants are asked to be specific in their answers and provide the most relevant details when filling in the forms. 

Frequently asked questions 

  • Can an asylum seeker apply? - Persons of migrant background, refugees and asylum seekers may all apply; above all, note that expert group members need to travel to Brussels and therefore it is important that their status allows them to travel from one EU Member State to another.
  • Can a EU citizen apply? - Yes; what is important is that Members Type A and B are of third-country background, even if they have already obtained a EU citizenship or are a second- or third-generation migrants. 
  • How can candidates prove their level of English? - Where official certificates of proficiency are available, please submit these. The Commission will however review and accept other proof and relevant experiences that show a candidate is able to complete all the work and take part in working discussions in English.
  • What kind of organisations can apply as a Type C member? - A large variety of entities is included here, such as research institutes, academic, think tanks, NGOs, law firms, financial institutions, professional organisations, consultancies, unions and more - please see pages 8 and 9 of the attached document for more. 
  • Does the representative of an organisation (a Type C member) have to be of migrant background? - No.
  • Does the representative of an organisation (a Type C member) have to have five years of relevant experience? - No.
  • In the case of Type C candidates, what should the cover letter include? - The cover letter should present the relevance of the organisation, not of its nominated representative. The representative's experience should be listed separately in the CV submitted with the application. 
  • Can an individual apply as more than one type of member? - As long as they fit the separate profiles, yes.

Please note: it is possible that an individual qualifies to apply as a Type A/B member, and also happens to work for an organisation that applies as a Type C member. This individual cannot be selected to the expert group as both a Type A/B and a Type C member. Instead, they may be appointed as a Type A/B member, while the organisation they work for will have to nominate a different representatives. Also, in the rare case where an applicant simultaneously fulfils the criteria, it is possible for them to apply both as a Type A and B member. 

  • Does volunteering in the fields of migration, asylum and/or integration count as relevant experience for Type A and B candidates? - Yes, the Commission is aware that relevant experience may often be in the form of unpaid or volunteer work, and would accept this as long as it relates to the nature of the expert group. 
  • Does working on a PhD degree count as relevant experience for Type A and B candidates? - Yes, depending on the topic of research and the applicant's profile, the Commission may accept that as relevant experience.
  • For Type A and B applicants, do the five years of experience need to be continuous? - No.
  • What costs would be covered? - The participants in the group will not be remunerated for their work but the Commission will cover travel and subsistence expenses. 
  • What would the composition of the group be? - The broadest possible diversity in terms of age, gender, geographical location, profession, field of expertise and migration experience will guide the composition of the group.
  • Will there be interviews? - No, the selection will be made based on the submitted applications.
  • When is a decision expected to be made? - After the submissions deadline on 28 September, the Commission will need at least a month in order to review and decide on all applications. The first meeting of the expert group should take place later in 2020.
  • Can an applicant resubmit an application? - If there is an important correction to be made, applicants are allowed to resubmit, but are asked to clearly state why.

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