Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

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On 2 August 2012 the Ministry of Interior and Administration of the Republic of Poland and the European Commission signed a contract for implementation of the Prague Process Targeted Initiative and the project “Support for the Implementation of the Prague Process and Its Action Plan”.

The main objective of the project implemented jointly by Poland - which is a leader and coordinator of the Targeted Initiative, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in its capacity of the Prague Process Secretariat is to strengthen cooperation on migration and asylum between the Prague Process participating states (EU and Schengen Area, the Eastern Partnership, the Western Balkans, the Central Asia and Russia and Turkey). Within the framework of the project expert dialogue and exchange of information between participants is being strengthened, mainly through the development of cooperation between the Prague Process National Contact Points and organisation of expert-level thematic meetings. The so-called Knowledge Base which consists of migration profiles describing migratory situation of the Prague Process participating states is being expanded. The interactive online map of Eastern migratory routes (i-Map) is being continuously further updated.

Implementation of seven Pilot Projects in the areas of legal migration, illegal migration, migration & development, and asylum & international protection represent another important goal of the Prague Process Targeted Initiative.

The first four Pilot Projects were implemented within the framework of the Prague Process Targeted Initiative in 2012 – 2014 and the Addendum signed in December 2013 allowed for development of three new Pilot Projects being implemented in 2014 - 2015. Poland, together with Romania and Slovakia, were responsible for the Pilot Project 1 on illegal migration; Hungary– for the Pilot Project 2 on legal migration, the Czech Republic – for the Pilot Project 3 on migration and development; while Sweden and Germany lead the Pilot Project 4 on asylum and international protection. Based on the proved functioning model of cooperation, the Pilot Project 5 on illegal migration is led by Poland together with Romania, the Pilot Project 6 on legal migration is led by the Czech Republic and Hungary and the Pilot Project 7 on asylum and international protection is again led by Sweden in cooperation with Germany.

Activities undertaken within the Pilot Projects are coordinated with the work of the Eastern Partnership Panel for Migration and Asylum, the secretariat of which is co-financed by the Prague Process Targeted Initiative.

The Prague Process Knowledge Base is a tool that gathers information in the form of a set of Migration Profiles, and ensures access to the information thus gathered via an interactive online map system, called the Prague Process i-Map, as well as via the Prague Process website. Additionally, the Knowledge Base is complemented by a variety of visualisations on specific topics.

The Knowledge Base was prepared during the course of the Building Migration Partnership (BMP) project, through a number of high-level introductory and expert missions, as well as workshops and Senior Officials’ meetings. The objective was to gather the information necessary for the translation of the BMP Joint Declaration into a concrete plan of action, which ultimately included the production of Extended Migration Profiles for selected countries. The interactive Prague Process Map on migration [i-Map], developed at that time, ensured that all Prague Process participating sates were facilitated in accessing the available information.

The work on building the Knowledge Base continued with the implementation of the Prague Process Targeted Initiative. Since 2013, the Knowledge Base was enriched through the development of a Migration Profile “Light” (MPL) template, successfully piloted by Germany. Currently a set of the prepared Migration Profiles Light pending endorsement of their respective countries.

Taking into account the voluntary nature of the Prague Process, participating countries independently decide whether they produce an Extended or (and) Light version of the Migration Profile.

As the Prague Process strives for continuous improvement of its tools, the participating states have recently initiated a discussion on the improvement of the i-Map and other possibilities of better utilisation and dissemination of the knowledge thus gathered.

The project was initially foreseen to last three years. On 23 December 2013, the Addendum to the Grant Contract was signed, which extended the project to 42 months, i.e. until January 2016, and increased its budget with additional 20%. With the signature of the second Addendum to the Grant Contract on July 2015, the project was extended until 31 December 2016.

The European Commission allocated for the Prague Process Targeted Initiative 3 million euro, which amount was raised in December 2013 to 3,6 million euro.