September 2018 News from the Prague Process Region
The new issue of the Prague Process Quarterly Review, covering the period from April till June 2018, is now ready for download. This issue features the first activities organised in the framework of the Prague Process Migration Observatory and Training Academy, developments on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, priorities of the Austrian Presidency of the EU Council, as well as important policy developments in Uzbekistan in the employment sphere. The new issue of the Quarterly Review is available for download in English and in Russian. To see all issues please go to the section "Quarterly Review" under News & Events.
The Research Coordination Meeting held on 28-29 June in Vienna brought nine experts from non-EU participating states of the Prague Process together with the members of the Prague Process Secretariat. The meeting provided a first opportunity to introduce the Migration Observatory (MO) concept to the experts present and get their feedback on this initiative. Secondly, the selected experts were invited to present their intended research as per their previous agreement with the Secretariat while also providing feedback on the research outlines of their peers.
On 5-7 June, the “Advanced Training for High-Quality Asylum Procedures” gathered over 40 state representatives working in the asylum field in Rome. The three trainers – Anna Bengtsson (Swedish Migration Agency), Judith Gleeson (Upper Tribunal Judge, Immigration and Asylum Chambers, United Kingdom) and Gabor Gyulai (Hungarian Helsinki Committee) - had previously engaged in the asylum trainings organised within the Prague Process. They also majorly contributed to the development of the Guidelines “Quality in Asylum Decision-Making - Using Jurisprudence and Multidisciplinary Knowledge for Training Purposes”, which served as a basis for this training.
The Prague Process Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) took place in Warsaw on 12 December 2017, gathering 33 participants from 21 states, as well as ICMPD, IOM and UNHCR. Several registered participants, including representatives from Albania, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, ICMPD and the European Commission could not attend the meeting due to cancelled flights. In spite of the unforeseen absence of several speakers, most of the original agenda could be maintained thanks to securing some interventions per Skype and others shared beforehand in written in order to be delivered by the Prague Process Secretariat.
After the 59 months of implementation, which is almost five years, the EU-funded project “Support to the Implementation of the Prague Process Action Plan 2012 – 2016”, known rather as the “Prague Process Targeted Initiative” or just “PP TI” was closed during the Closing Ceremony organised by the leading state of the project – Poland – at the Polish Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels on 13 June 2017. The Ceremony was organised with the purpose to present the numerous achievements and results of the project to diplomatic representations of the 50 countries involved in the Prague Process (all EU MS, Schengen Area, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Western Balkans, Russia and Turkey), to EU institutions as well as international organisations present in Brussels.
The 3-day Training Workshop gathered 33 participants from 22 Prague Process states as well as EASO, UNHCR, ICMPD and the Prague Process Secretariat. The thematic focus on irregular migration resulted from the priorities previously indicated by the Prague Process participating states. The agenda was based on the results achieved under the Pilot Projects implemented in 2012 – 2016. As set out in the Bratislava Ministerial Declaration of 2016, these results shall be further mobilised within the envisaged Training Academy.
The PP TI Study Visit took place on 10-12 April 2017, gathering representatives of 18 participating states in Vienna. During the introductory session at ICMPD, participants expressed their satisfaction with the opportunity to visit and get to know the national policies and practices of Austria - an important destination and transit country with regards to both the Balkan and Mediterranean migration routes.