Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states
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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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The 2nd Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Almaty Process took place in Astana, Kazakhstan on 22 September 2015. The meeting was organized by the Chair of the Almaty Process, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and focused on Labour Migration Opportunities and Challenges in Central Asia, Addressing Solutions for Migrants and Refugees.

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The 2,5-day seminar  was attended by representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Georgia, Germany, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, Sweden and Ukraine, as well as the three PP7 experts, UNHCR and ICMPD.  

The focus of the seminar was on training in asylum and international protection law and more specifically on Refugee status and Inclusion, as well as the five Convention grounds of the 1951 Refugee Convention with a special focus on membership of particular social groups. Presentations were complemented by interactive sessions and discussion of fictive asylum cases within working groups. Participants were introduced to the evolution of asylum law through jurisprudence and case law of national and other courts.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This summer issue of the Prague Process Quarterly  Review will update you on few recent activities, will bring to your attention an interesting interview on a project that is thematically and geographically within the interest of the Prague Process states, and present an outlook towards the future of the Prague Process Targeted Initiative on behalf of one of its Leading States.

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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.

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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.

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