Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

The Study visit to Germany, organised in the framework of the Objective 2 – Knowledge base, took place in Berlin on 16-18 of September 2015, gathering together participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, IOM, and the Institute for European Politics, which were accompanied by the Prague Process Secretariat.

In the framework of Specific Objective 2 - Knowledge base, Expert Missions to the Republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan took place in Astana on 18-21 August 2015 and in Tashkent on 24-26 August 2015, respectively. Four experts from the Project leading states affiliated with the Ministries of Internal Affairs of Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania, accompanied by the Prague Process Secretariat, have met the representatives of the governmental agencies responsible for the migration management in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The key objective of the mission consisted in the mutual exchange of information, discussion of issues pertaining to migration, and presentation of in the draft Migration Profiles.

In the end of June representatives of the ERIS partner states gathered in Prague to conclude the project and finalize the main project output - Joint Manual on Integration Principles, Procedures and Standards on Integration Policies

The workshop was opened by Mr Tomas Urubek from the Czech Ministry of Interior who took stock of more than 2 years project implementation. The three countries, Austria, the Czech Republic and Russian Federation underwent intense knowledge exchange in order to identify and analyse existing practices in the most important areas of integration. As an outcome of the exchange, the partners developed informative Manual that will be offered to other Prague Process countries as a point of reference for developing their national integration systems.

The Senior Officials´ Meeting (SOM) of the Prague Process took place in Budapest on 6-7 July 2015 and gathered 65 participants from 28 countries, the European Commission (DG Home Affairs), Council of the European Union, EASO, Frontex as well as Euromed Migration III,  MARRI, UNHCR and ICMPD also in its function of the Prague Process Secretariat.

The meeting was hosted by the Federal Migration Service (FMS) of the Russian Federation and gathered representatives of eight states – Armenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Portugal Russia and Turkey - as well as the EU Delegation in Moscow, IOM, various higher education institutions (HEI) and external experts.

The meeting was opened by the Director of the FMS, Mr. Konstantin Romodanovsky, who underlined that while most states are eager to facilitate incoming student migration, misuse and abuse thereof has to be countered efficiently. In Russia, where the demand for foreign specialists is substantial, students presently account for two percent of the overall immigration. The country has recently not only introduced reforms in order to enhance their labour market integration and naturalization, but also extended its cooperation with HEI across the country.

The second workshop of Pilot Project 5 was held in Tbilisi (Georgia) on 9 and 10 June 2015. The event was co-organised by Poland and Romania (Leaders of the Pilot Project 5) and Georgia.

During the workshop representatives of 14 countries and 2 international organisations (ICMPD and IOM) had a possibility to familiarise themselves with best practices regarding cooperation with diplomatic representations of third countries in establishing and confirming identity of migrants staying without documents in Pilot Project 5 countries. Participants agreed that it is of vital importance to establish and maintain good contacts with diplomatic representations’ (also informal ones) as effective collaboration contributes to an increase in the efficiency and implementation of return policy.

The meeting was opened by statements on behalf of the Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Piotr Mierecki, Director of PP TI, Ministry of Interior of Poland and by Mr. Andrei Vrabie, Project Manager at the EU Delegation in Moldova. The speakers underlined the importance of migration for trade and entrepreneurship, the national labour market and economic development in the whole. The good example of Moldova in successfully tackling M&D was also exemplified by some 80 initiatives implemented in cooperation with the EU Delegation in the migration area, as well as the budget support granted for the successful completion of the visa liberalization process.

For the Salzburg Forum Ministerial conference ICMPD has prepared a background paper „Analysis of the impact of the political situation in Ukraine on the migration situation in the Salzburg Forum countries“.  In the document can be found the most recent data on border crossings with Ukraine, data on visa and asylum applications from the Ukrainian citizens in the Salzburg Forum countries, as well as the information about Ukrainian IDPs. The document is available in English and accessible here, as well as on ICMPD website.