Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

This year the annual Prague Process Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) took place in a virtual format on 16 November 2020. Formally hosted by Germany in the course of its Presidency of the Council of the EU, the SOM gathered some 80 senior-level officials from over 36 countries, the European Commission, the EU Council, Frontex, IOM and ICMPD. The event provided an opportunity for participating states to share their current migration policy priorities and needs in terms of international cooperation, as well as to take stock of the Prague Process achievements over the past two years and learn about the activities planned for 2021.

The third International Border Management Conference took place remotely on 23-24 November 2020. It focused on the key challenges for border management expected in the future while also addressing the particular challenges related to morphing and biometric technologies. Apart from border guards, police and customs agencies, the third edition of this ICMPD flagship event also brought together a wide range of other actors from the public and private sectors. During the two thematic roundtables, invited speakers presented their daily practices and achievements, exchanged views and discussed potential developments in border governance as a way to address global risks.

On the occasion of the annual Prague Process Senior Officials' Meeting and ahead of ICMPD's annual flagship event - the Vienna Migration Conference - the Republic of Lithuania, being the current Chair of the Prague Process Strategic Group handed over this important role to the Czech Republic, which will lead the Process in 2021.

The achievements of this important milestone and priorities for the future were summarised in the official statements of the outgoing and incoming Chairs of the Process.

We invite you to watch the statements by following the links:

The Prague Process Migration Observatory announces the release of the new analytical paper 'Building better return and reintegration programs' authored by Glen Swan.

Return and reintegration programs are an important part of overall migration management. Most countries place significant emphasis on entry requirements to regulate migration inflows, and equal emphasis on return and reintegration is necessary. This paper predominantly looks at the voluntary return and addresses those return programs that link with some form of post-return assistance (reception assistance, post-arrival assistance, reintegration assistance) in the country of origin. It identifies efficiencies and methods that represent best practice and increase performance of the program. It also identifies new perspectives and new ways of viewing traditional policy and program settings. Return and reintegration programs are governed by traditional program settings and function in a standardised manner. However, it is important to recognise the limitations of general program settings. This paper examines the function and utility of these programs. Additionally, there is a discussion of major program features and operational challenges. The paper includes findings from a short examination of return and reintegration programs for all fifty Prague Process participant states.

To preview and download the new analytical report please use this link.

On 28 January 2021, the Prague Process organises its 2nd Policy Talk ‘Migration Outlook for 2021: From COVID-19 to the EU’s Pact on Migration and Asylum’ with Mr Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Director of the European Affairs Program, Egmont Institute, and Mr Ralph Genetzke, Director, Head of Brussels Mission, ICMPD. The talk will be moderated by Mr Martijn Pluim, Director, Migration Dialogues and Cooperation at ICMPD.

The distinguished panellists will discuss the key migration policies to watch in 2021, focusing on the EU and its neighbourhood. Building on the main lessons from 2020, they will look into the various implications of COVID-19 on migration and mobility, trying to sketch out the ‘new normal’ following an eventual recovery from the ongoing health emergency. The internal and external dimensions of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum shall be assessed from an international cooperation perspective. The conversation shall also shed light on the megatrends of climate change and digitalisation.

The 8th Prague Process webinar ‘Building better return and reintegration programs’ with Glen Swan, ICMPD Consultant on Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, took place on 6 October 2020.

This webinar presented a short background on AVRR program principles, discussed current operational challenges and provided recommendations for agile program design. Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is a continuing topic of interest in migration management. Voluntary return is presented as a dignified method of return, but there are often many challenges associated with effectively implementing a successful AVRR program. Accurate policy settings are part of the challenge, as are operational and political objectives.

The webinar recording is available in two formats: the first contains the presentation of Mr Swan only while the second one represents the full-length video recording of the webinar, entailing also the Q&A session.

To watch the shorter version, please go here

To watch the full-length video, please go here

The seventh Prague Process webinar ‘EU Framework for Legal Migration: Lessons learned and main challenges’ with Monica Alfaro from Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, took place on 24 September 2020.

The webinar provided an overview of the EU Directives on legal migration, the results of the recent Fitness check on the respective EU framework and resulting lessons learned. The webinar further addressed the main challenges faced at EU level in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The webinar recording is available in two formats: the first contains the presentation of Ms Alfaro only while the second one represents the full-length video recording of the webinar, entailing also the Q&A session.

To watch the shorter version, please go here

To watch the full-length video, please go here

The 9th Prague Process webinar ‘From refugee crises to labour migration and back? Lessons for migration policies in the Western Balkans’ with Professor Anna Krasteva, the New Bulgarian University,  will take place on 17 December 2020 at 10:30 CET.

The webinar will dive into the migration realities of the Western Balkan region torn between the urgency of refugee management and the legacy of forced migration on the one side, and the need to prioritize labour migration as a tool for national and regional development on the other side. Prof. Krasteva will explain how and whether a labour migration policy can change the existing profile of the WB region, as well as provide related policy recommendations inspired by the EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum.