The Budapest Process is traditionally structured around three types of meetings: Senior Officials Meetings are the backbone of the dialogue, thematic and regional working groups offer more specific opportunities for cooperation whereas Ministerial Conferences happen seldom and redirect the process where needed.

Senior Official Meetings

SOMs take place annually or bi-annually, gathering senior officials from all participating states and organisations. As the main decision-making body of the dialogue, SOMs discuss ongoing developments, determine the main policy directions and governance of the Process and links the dialogue to global processes.

Senior Official Meetings also take place in preparation for upcoming Ministerial Conferences. After approximately 30 Senior Officials Meetings in the last 25 years, the Budapest Process continues to use these meetings as a wider platform to share and help guide the upcoming meetings and activities.

Regional Working Group Meetings

The Budapest Process Working Groups gather expert officials from national administrations to examine, discuss and share information and best practices on matters dealing with concrete migration challenges. All participating states are invited to take part in the different Working Group meetings despite the specific regional perspective depending on the Working Group. Joint Working Group Meetings also take place and give space for shared expertise and knowledge.

The Working Groups are established as a result of expressed interest from participating states and reflect the main issues discussed in the Process. The following working group structure was adopted in 2010 giving interested states in certain sub-regions an additional platform to discuss migration flows along the Silk Routes:

  • Working Group on South Eastern Europe
    Chaired by North Macedonia
  • Working Group on the Black Sea Region
    Chaired by Bulgaria
  • Working Group on the Silk Routes Region 
    Co-chaired by Afghanistan and Turkey

Since 2017, the Process has piloted an annual thematic approach in order to share in depth knowledge on a specific area of migration management and cooperation. This has enabled several Working Groups to focus on the same theme in their specific region.

Other thematic meetings outside of the usual Regional Working Group format also take place depending on requests and priorities of participating states.