/ 3
PDF herunterladen
Western Balkans: Speaking points for bilateral meetings

1. As mentioned during the conference, WB countries are not third
countries - they are first partners of the EU. This is important to
transpose to them with a view to continuing building our partnership
with the region.

2. We need to support building an understanding that the WB
countries are not only countries of transit, but important countries of
origin and increasingly de facto destination. We need to support
creating full ownership for migration management.

a. The overall migration management situation throughout the
region remains fragile, party as migration is mainly
considered a transit issue. Huge investments have been made
for capacity building in the region but a more systematic
approach is needed. As the prevalent view is that for migrants
and asylum seekers, WB countries are not attractive to stay
in, or apply for protection in, due to the economic conditions
and rights provided to them as far livelihood related issues are
concerned. This perspective is affecting the political
ownership of the migration process.

3. Therefore we think support is needed to the countries of the region
to develop future oriented migration policies that are rather
proactive than reactive and build on regular monitoring of the
developments in countries of origins and transit, as well as

4. We also want to support the countries of the region to be pro-
active stakeholders shaping their own migration priorities
and also to grow as EU partners. Along these lines we are working
with North Macedonia and BiH to strengthen the role of the WB
countries regarding development and implementation of EU policies.
The countries would like to take the EU Pact as a starting point for
upgrading their own migration systems - through introducing similar

elements in their countries - and through this also strengthen their
cooperation with the EU at the same time. This initiative is
supported by Germany as the present Chair of the ICMPD Steering

5. Turning to specific topic of today’s conference - return, ICMPD is
convinced that it is possible to make return work from the region,
with the right mechanisms, the right partners and the right
commitment. ICMPD has the following priorities, also to support
creating a regional return mechanism.

a. Create a Western Balkan network of return experts.
Similar to the EU’s ERRIN network which we helped run, the
network would share information, exchange best practices
and work on problem cases in detail.

b. Support voluntary return. The return network could also
offer joint reintegration services to support Assisted Voluntary
Return in 35 countries of origin, as ERRIN did. Many of the
necessary contacts, contracting agents and networks are
already in place. ICMPD is supporting authorities in BiH to
build an AVR system. This builds on experiences with Turkey:
ICMPD established a national AVRR programme in cooperation
with ERRIN in Turkey.

c. Develop a regional monitoring system for forced
returns. Over the last years, ICMPD has trained forced return
monitors from the EU, Western Balkan countries, Georgia,
Ukraine and Moldova. We worked with Frontex and FRA to
develop training guidelines and a dedicated pool of monitors
across the EU to assist with the smooth running of joint return
operations. ICMPD could help with developing a joint training
concept and specialised pool of experts in line with the
specific needs and legal frameworks.

d. We work to support all WB countries in their “migration
diplomacy” to facilitate cooperation with countries of origins
and transit - both bilateral and multilateral - through our

organisational network and also through the dialogues,
especially the Budapest Process. Effective return depends
on cooperation with countries of origin to take back their own
nationals. ICMPD recently organised a multilateral visit to
Pakistan in cooperation with Austria, Czechia, Denmark,
Norway, Switzerland - as well as the EUAA. We could conduct
similar multi-country exercises with priority countries also for
the Western Balkans.

6. Access of migrants and refugees to information: Of crucial
importance, also for functioning return and voluntary return is that
migrants have sufficient information, also migrants in transit. We
are working on outreach to migrants and refugees that are in transit
in the WB to inform them on the institutional structures and
promoting their access to services and ensure protection for those
who are in need.