&>ICMPD International Centre for Migration Policy Development Briefing Note - Phone call with Mr Selmo Cikotic, Minister of Security, Bosnia and Herzegovina Date: 19 01 2021 Location: phone call Participants: "= ICMPD: MSP, tbc ExRel for note taking "= Delegation: _— Selmo Cikotid (25 January 1964, Berane/Montenegro) is a Bosnian politician, member of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and former Army officer who is the Minister of Security since 23 July 2020. February 1993 - commander of operational group Zapad of the 3rd Corps of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Bugojno 1994 - 1997 - Military attache at the Embassy of BiH to the US, Washington 2000 - 2004 - Commander of the 1st Corps of the Federation Army 2004 - 2007 - CEO of OKI doo (private construction company) in Sarajevo June 2007 - he jointly attended a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at the NATO headquarters in Brussels with the Serbian defence minister Dragan Sutanovac, together they expressed their governments' wish to join NATO as soon as possible 2008 - Dean of the American National Faculty at the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina. March 2008 - he led a five member delegation to Pakistan, to discuss "bilateral cooperation between the two Muslim countries" April 2007 - January 2012 - Minister of Defence (appointed on 11 Jan 2007, but unable to take up officially until 22 Apr 2007, when a ban on former army officers performing defence-related civilian duties expired) 2013 - 2016 - Head of the representative office of the BIGMEV Foundation, responsible for development of economic relations between BiH and Turkey
2016 - October 2018 - Advisor in the Cabinet of a Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovid November 2018 - teaching at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Sarajevo CikotiC has a master's degree from the University of Sarajevo in 2004, and a doctorate as of 2008 from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, where he works as an associate professor. He is also a visiting professor at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP), the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the NATO School in Oberammergau. Background (relations and cooperation with the counterpart, previous meeting(s) and their outcome(s)) " Necessity to provide support to BiH - the country is one of the key MS of ICMPD in the WB. In the recent years, ICMPD only provided support to BiH authorities on an ad hoc basis through projects offered at the regional level or through migration dialogues, but could not launch a country-based project. Considering the current operational needs in BiH as well as strategic relations with BiH, it is extremely important to intensify the work of ICMPD to provide required support to BiH authorities. "= In addition to assistance provided at the technical level, a framework project _proposal is being drafted by the RCO WBTR to provide more systematic and extensive support. After the Lipa Camp crisis, WBTR RCO has been in regular contact with the authorities and the EU Del in BiH to identify further areas for support. The closure of the Lipa camp has also triggered a series of considerations to explore a much required additional type of support that should be given to authorities in BiH, to not only resolve the current migration crisis but also to have more sustainable policies and structures in place. "= Because of these consultations, the Minister of Security welcomed to receive a project proposal, from ICMPD. MoS also offered ICMPD to be an implementing partner for a project designed to upgrade the migration information system of BiH, which will be funded by State Migration Secretariat of Switzerland. Purpose of the meeting = MSP sent a congratulation letter (18 Dec 2020) to the newly (July 2020) appointed Minister of the Ministry of Security of BiH also announcing plan of ICMPD to re-open an office in Sarajevo. Mr. Cikotid, in his response (23 Dec 2020), invited ICMPD to get in touch with the Ministry of Security to explore areas of cooperation and support. = The phone call was requested by ICMPD in the context of this letter exchange as well as overall developments as regards the migration situation in BIH - to get Minister’s view on the expectations of BiH authorities to get support from ICMPD.
Speaking points ICMPD can offer support on several levels Political-Strategic T, Taking note of needs and expectations of BiH authorities and facilitating communication of these needs with EU and ICMPD MS in order to promote a good understanding of the situation in BiH; . Drafting a policy document to elaborate sine qua non elements of an improved cooperation framework between EU and BiH authorities on migration matters; Encouraging EU authorities and ICMPD MS to develop and apply innovative solutions, including but not limited to cooperation on return, resettlement and integration related durable solutions; Facilitation dialogue between BiH and Croatia and Slovenia, in relation to readmissions as well prevention of push backs; . Explore possibilities of having a programmatic approach between EU and BiH to have a structural migration dialogue based on a framework document, i.e Programme for Migrants-Refugees in BiH; Supporting the application of complementary solutions to the migration situation in BiH, rather than only focusing on return and/or providing humanitarian support to migrants and refugees, Facilitate migration dialogues and structural cooperation between BiH/WB, countries of transit (including Greece-Bulgaria), and country of origins; Exploring possibilities to have investments in BiH, which can be conducted to facilitate socio- economic integration of migrants in BiH. Operational level 9. Providing technical support to authorities in BiH to improve migration management capakcities; 10.Providing equipment to the authorities in BiH to meet their immediate most pressing needs and facilitate at least a part of their work; 11.Providing staff support to authorities in BiH through secondments of technical experts that could be funded through project funds; 12.Supporting BiH authorities in enhancing cooperation with country of origins and transit; 13.Deployment of ICMPD staff to work in BiH to provide support to authorities. Planned and possible ACTION POINTS from ICMPD side: 1: 3: ICMPD prepares a policy document, to be shared with EU, in cooperation with BiH authorities elaborating the elements that are needed to support authorities in BiH . ICMPD prepares a project proposal for project designed to upgrade the migration information system of BiH (Feb), likely to be funded by SEM Switzerland ICMPD temporarily deploys staff to work in Sarajevo (March-TBC)
u ICMPD submits project-programme proposals designed to support Ministry of Security and Service for Foreigners’ Affairs (Feb) ICMPD opens an office in Sarajevo (April-TBC) ICMPD organizes an ICMPD MS meeting to inform on the situation and call for support through proposing complementary solutions ICMPD organizes a special Budapest Process meeting, among others, to foster cooperation between BiH and country of origins and transit ICMPD supports allocation of funds from EU and other donor countries for the arising needs of the authorities in BiH
BACKGROUND INFORMATION - Migration situation in BiH After routes of mixed migration flows changed and moved as of 2018 to a new route from Greece towards to the Croatian border, BiH resulted in being the most affected country by mixed migration flows in the Western Balkans. In 2017, BiH had 1,116 registered migrants and in 2018, that number spiked to 24,067, and to 29,196 in 2019. IOM and UNHCR reported that 16,150 migrants had been registered in BiH during 2020, despite border closures as prevention of the spread of COVID-19. The reception capacity for migrants in BiH remains at a similar level as previously, with (mainly) international organisations setting up (temporary) camps, while BiH authorities not having technical and financial capacities to respond directly to the increased inflow of migrants. As of January 2021, IOM reports around 9,000 migrants and refugees being present in BiH, of which more than 4,500 are residing in the central Sarajevo canton (camps Blazuj and Usivak, as well as the southern town of Mostar) in reception centres. The migrants present in the western Una-Sana Canton (mainly towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa), are estimated at a similar number, of which about half are accommodated in reception centres (Miral, Sedra, Barici), and in the Lipa camp, which was recently and as an emergency support, provided with tents by the BiH army, while still around 1,000 refugees and migrants are estimated to stay outside the camps, i.e. sleeping rough. Funds provided by the EU for the management of the migration crisis mainly provided for humanitarian needs. With allegediy 90% of the funds spent on the basic needs of migrants and less than 10% for strengthening the migration management authorities. It became evident that it is necessary to intensify the efforts aimed at strengthening the capacities of the migration management authorities in BiH. The recent situation related to developments at the Lipa camp (December 2020) and the planned relocation of the migrants within the country highlighted main limitations of the migration management structures in BiH and the strong lack of sustainable policies for managing migration flows in the country: After the Lipa camp had been closed by international organisations due to the lack of authorities to provide sustainable infrastructure, and after migrants burnt some temporary facilities, thousands of migrants had to camp in the open. While the central government authorities attempted to relocate migrants to former army barracks in central/southern BiH, the population there protested against this, as the population in the western Una Sana Canton keeps protesting against migrants remaining in this western region in higher numbers and against setting up more permanent facility in this region. Only with the intervention of the army setting up tents, at least the main number of migrants were allowed to sleep in shelters provided with some heating and responding to basic needs. Local governments, but also representative of the Republika Srpska remain hesitant to located migrants and to provide continued support, while the
population (according to a variety of media reports), remains of a mixed opinion: from supporting the removal of migrants from their neighbourhoods to providing continued support to vulnerable migrants.