Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

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03 December 2018


This paper explores the link between border management and development by putting it in the context of the global debate on development goals and examining the approaches to border management that could contribute to development. The paper first assesses the current development debate, the role of borders in the context of the nation state and the present global political order, as well as the global agenda that provides the politically endorsed objectives for development. It then examines border management in more detail with a view to identifying its links to other policy areas/goals and as a concept and policy in its own right in order to determine how it is an enabler for development.

The absence of comprehensive and functioning border management does not mean facilitated movement of people, goods and services across state borders. It means the opposite: delays, harassment, violation of rights and corruption. Its absence hampers development. On the contrary, comprehensive and functioning border management encompasses both aspects of security and of facilitation. Both aspects should not contradict but complement each other.

Efficient borders improve the recognition of rights of the persons crossing a border, the regulation and inspection of passengers and the management of migration. They improve the flow of goods and the collection of revenues, reduce the threat of crime and terrorism and improve law enforcement. All of this leads to improved respect for human rights, enhanced mobility of people, trade facilitation, more competitive private sectors, increased revenues for the state, and improved public safety and national security. The national, regional and global impacts, which follow this intervention logic, are very much in line with the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Developments Goals of the United Nations.


Martijn Pluim and Martin Hofmann. International Centre for Migration Policy Development