Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

The adoption of the New EU Strategy on Central Asia in June 2019 put forward the need to translate its strategic objectives related to migration and border management into concrete actions. To launch the work in this direction, the Ministry of the Interior and Administration of Poland and the Prague Process Secretariat at ICMPD jointly organised the conference “Areas of cooperation on migration with Central Asia” in Warsaw on 4 December 2019.

The one-day conference brought together representatives of the five Central Asian States, the Leading states of the Prague Process – Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland – as well as Austria, Italy, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and ICMPD in order to exchange views and identify possible mean of cooperation on migration and border-related issues.

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan had an opportunity to introduce their national migration situation and the main challenges ahead. The EU member states presented the numbers of Central Asian nationals residing on their territory, their experience of cooperating with the Central Asia and legislative issues related to labour and educational migration. While the well-known BOMCA programme remains the key EU instrument for cooperation with the countries of the region, there is a lot more room for closer cooperation on labour migration, reintegration and continuous migration dialogue, in particular, within the Prague Process.

The Conference was followed by the Study visit to the various Polish institutions focusing on the overall migration situation in Poland, the work with the Polish diaspora and related repatriation mechanisms, as well as on labour migration and international protection in Poland.

The novelties of the new EU Central Asia Strategy 2019 and the particular place for migration in it are addressed in the recent Policy brief "The EU Central Asia Strategy and Its Impact on Migration" released by the Prague Process Migration Observatory.