Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

Objective 2 (Knowledge Base) and Pilot Project 2 (Legal Migration) The expert team, consisting of national experts from Finland, Hungary and Romania was warmly received by Mr. Aleksey Begun, Head of the Department for Citizenship and Migration (DCM) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. After a short introduction of the various institutions and competences, a comprehensive overview of the national migration policy was provided. Various labour migration aspects were then presented in more detail, including the licensing of legal entities, the issuing of work permits to foreigners or the recruitment and protection of Belarus citizens working abroad. Experts were also introduced to the numerous bi- and multilateral agreements ratified by the Republic of Belarus, as well as to recent efforts on the conclusion of readmission agreements. Special attention was devoted to the area of Counter-Trafficking, characterised by significant success stories over the past decade. During their visit to a regional employment office, experts received an insight into the national labour market, the recruitment of foreigners and social protection issues such as pension rights and portability. The State Border Committee introduced the practices established in combating irregular migration and the related data collection and analyses. On day two experts were received by the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and introduced to the numerous activities and treaties in the migration area. A short visit to the Military Museum was followed by meetings with the National Statistics Committee and two recruitment agencies. In a second phase, experts had the opportunity to meet with important non-state actors, international organisations and NGOs, including the EU Delegation, IOM, UHNCR, UNDP and ‘La Strada’. Thanks to the excellent cooperation, hospitality and high level of expertise received by all counterparts, the mission accomplished the set objectives. The resulting mission report, entailing the experts’ feedback, will be shared with all counterparts.