Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

The Workshop on Gathering, Analysis and Sharing of Migration Data, held in Skopje on 2-3 October 2018, gathered approximately 80 participants representing 23 countries, as well as international stakeholders such as IOM, UNHCR, EASO, World Bank, Frontex, Eurostat, ICMPD and others.

The Minister of Interior of Macedonia, Mr. Oliver Spasovski, opened the event by referring to the challenges provoked by the substantial migration flows experienced as of 2015. The weaknesses exposed at the time have been addressed successfully ever since, he said. Acknowledging that states need to tackle the common challenges linked to migration in a joint manner, he underlined that the Prague Process had significantly contributed to this endeavour well beyond the recent migration crises. The Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Macedonia, representing the leading state of the Prague Process, invited the attending states to the Senior Officials’ Meeting in Prague in December 2018. The representative of the EU Delegation to Skopje expressed his support for the various products envisaged under the Migration Observatory underlining the benefit they could provide to policy-makers.

State representatives then shared their national practices in data gathering, analyses and sharing as well as particular challenges faced and good practices established. The majority of states envisage the collection and processing of migration data within their national migration strategies, relying mostly on administrative data sources. A number of states aim to establish a unified electronic migration information system, connecting the various existing databases. The monitoring of migration routes has become a priority although the proper forecasting of future migration trends remains a challenge.

The workshop first addressed the Western Balkan region, including through presentations on behalf of IOM, MARRI and ICMPD. The various challenges and perspectives on gathering and analysis of migration data were tackled on behalf of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Eurostat, the World Bank and Frontex. Meanwhile, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford covered the issue of media reporting on migration. UNHCR, the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre and ICMPD made further interventions. Most participants expressed their satisfaction with the event and the various knowledge platforms and other data resources presented.