Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states
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Following a number of consultations and further endorsement by the respective migration authorities the Migration Profiles Light 2015 of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Uzbekistan were published on the Prague Process website. The process of approval has been arranged in line with the agreed during the Senior Officials' Meeting (Budapest, 2015) methodology which gives each state a three-month period for provision of any feedback, followed by an official endorsement.

A special positive role in finalisation of both documents should be devoted to the Prague Process Expert missions to the Republics of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, which took place in August 2015. A close cooperation between the respective migration authorities and the Prague Process Support Team allowed to swiftly modify and harmonise both documents, and today we have an honor to share both profiles with you.

Both profiles are available for download in the section Migration Profiles, as well as from the Overview table of the section Migration Profile Light.


 

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The 3rd Seminar of Pilot Project 7, that took place in Berlin on 20-22 of April 2016,  gathered 46 participants, including representatives of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Luxemburg, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine, as well as the three PP7 experts, national trainers from Germany, Sweden and Norway, EASO, UNHCR, ECRE and ICMPD. The thematic focus of the event was on exclusion, internal protection alternative, interview techniques and vulnerable groups. The event combined presentations on behalf of experts with interactive breakout sessions, including the discussion of concrete asylum cases on behalf of participants.

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The Final Workshop of the Pilot Project 5 on Illegal migration in Bucharest was hosted by the Ministry of Interior of Romania on 24-25 of February 2016 and gathered representatives of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, and representatives of the IOM and ICMPD.

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The 2nd Seminar of Pilot Project 7, which took place in Brussels on 17-19 of February 2016,  gathered representatives of Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Luxemburg, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine, as well as various experts, representatives of the European Commission, UNHCR, ECRE and ICMPD.


Representatives of the Swedish Migration Agency (SMA) and the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) as the leading states authorities of the Pilot Project 7  opened the event, underlining the importance of training in view of the significant flows of asylum seekers received at present. Both states reported on the substantial increase in the number of staff and the resulting need for in-house training. In this context, countries can certainly benefit from the experience of other states.

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From the 12th to the 13th of February 2016, in the framework of Objective 2, the Prague Process Secretariat organised a Prague Process National Contact Points’ meeting on the Knowledge base, data collection and analysis. Hosted by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria, the meeting took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, and gathered participants from 26 states, the European Commission Representation in Sofia and Frontex, as well as the ICMPD, the OSCE and the UNHCR.

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The meeting gathered representatives of Albania, Armenia, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Turkey, as well as ICMPD and the Prague Process Secretariat.   

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The Prague Process Senior Officials’ Meeting, being at the same time the second preparatory SOM for the 3rd Ministerial Conference in October 2016, took place in Prague on 7-8 December 2015, gathering participants from 30 states, the European Commission Directorate General for Home Affairs (DG HOME) and Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), the Council of the European Union, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), Frontex, as well as ICMPD, IOM and UNHCR.

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The third Workshop of the Pilot Project 5 on Establishing Identity and/or Nationality of Irregular migrants took place in Warsaw on 17 of November 2015 and gathered representatives of the 18 Prague Process participating states, as well as representatives of Frontex and the Prague Process Secretariat.

During the workshop participants exchanged the best practices on return of migrants without a stay permit. The meeting was opened with a presentation on Multicultural aspects in establishing/confirming identity/nationality of migrants. The importance of the training courses, where not only the country of origin information, but also other cultural issues are studied, was underlined. The activities raising awareness of cultural differences of the officers directly working with migrants were mentioned, while the expertise of Poland in this regard was used as a good practice.

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The new issue of the Prague Process Quarterly Review provides our readers with an update on activities that took place in the previous 3 months, presents the key Prague Process decision-making body - Senior Officials' Meeting,and brings to the attention an interview with the UK Upper Tribunal Judge, who answered some of the most relevant questions about asylum topic.

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The PP6 Study Visit was hosted by the Immigration and Border Service (SEF) of Portugal and gathered representatives of nine states – Albania, Armenia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo , Kyrgyzstan and Moldova.


During its visit to the SEF Headquarters in Lisbon the delegation was shortly introduced to its main duties and responsibilities, as well as to the national legal framework on migration. With regards to international students, the SEF is responsible for the issuance of visas and residence permits, as well as their possible extension. Seeking to strike a balance between security issues and the practical needs of incoming students, the Portuguese Law entitles foreign students and graduates to take up employment. In 2012, SEF ratified a Protocol with Portuguese Universities in order to facilitate administrative procedures and thus promote the mobility and integration of foreign students.

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