Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

Background

The Prague Process is an intergovernmental migration dialogue featuring 50 states of the European Union, Schengen Area, Eastern Partnership, Western Balkans, Central Asia, Russia and Turkey. Since its establishing in 2009, the Prague Process has engaged in various capacity building activities.

Within the EU-funded Prague Process Targeted Initiative (PP TI) project, implemented in 2012-2017, the capacity building was mostly carried out in the framework of seven Pilot Projects:

  • Pilot Projects 1 and 5 on illegal migration;
  • Pilot Projects 2 and 6 on legal migration;
  • Pilot Project 3 on migration and development;
  • Pilot Projects 4 and 7 on asylum and international protection.

The Pilot Projects consisted of a number of workshops, expert missions to non-EU participating states, as well as study visits to a number of EU Member States. Moreover, they resulted in the joint elaboration of the following publications:

  • Prague Process Handbook and Guidelines on Concluding Readmission Agreements and Organising Returns;
  • Prague Process Handbook on Managing Labour and Circular Migration;
  • Prague Process Guidelines on Training in the Asylum Process - Approaches to Achieve Quality;
  • Prague Process Handbook in Identification of Irregular Migrants;
  • Prague Process Handbook on Enhancing International Student Mobility;
  • Prague Process Guidelines "Quality in Asylum Decision Making - Using Jurisprudence and Multidisciplinary Knowledge for Training Purposes";

In addition, two ‘Prague Process Umbrella projects’ were implemented:

  • The ERIS project[1], funded by the European Union and implemented from 2013–2015, which resulted in the ‘ERIS Manual on Principles, Procedures and Standards on Integration Policies’;
  • The EaP-SIPPAP project[2], which also produced a number of training materials.

During the 3rd Ministerial Conference in 2016, the participating states agreed to build on the described capacity-building activities and publications by establishing the Prague Process Training Academy in order to address the capacity building needs of the Parties in a more structured and tailor-made way.

Objectives

The Training Academy aims to provide tailor-made, targeted, high-quality trainings in line with the six thematic areas set out by the Prague Process Action Plan:

  1. Preventing and combating illegal migration
  2. Promote readmission, voluntary return and sustainable reintegration
  3. Legal migration and mobility, with special emphasis on labour migration
  4. Promote the integration of migrants legally residing in host societies
  5. Make migration and mobility positive forces of development
  6. Strengthening of capacities in the field of asylum and international protection

Building upon the described products and activities, the Training Academy shall:

  • Establish and mobilise a network of state and non-state trainers from the region;
  • Strive to improve the performance of Prague Process state representatives through the further development of their skills and competences;
  • Feature a training-of-trainers approach in order to contribute to enhanced training capabilities and to the independent organisation of trainings at national and local level;
  • Establish a sound research base of training materials in Russian and English, which should be further used for capacity-building activities;
  • Ensure accumulation of training expertise and provide a dissemination platform for participating states willing to share their national training curricula and strategies with the Parties;
  • Serve as a laboratory for generating concrete new project and cooperation ideas for the Prague Process and MPF purposes.

The above objectives shall be achieved through implementation of the following steps:

  • Produce training materials in the six thematic areas in English and Russian, available in hard copy and as an e-learning tool;
  • Carry out six high quality trainings in the described thematic areas, targeting practitioners from the Prague Process participating states;
  • Organise an expert mission of EU MS experts to a non-EU country in order to review the existing national approach to capacity building and continuous learning within the state administration;
  • Organise a study visit of non-EU state officials to an EU MS in order to learn from their national approach to capacity building within the state administration;
  • Develop a comprehensive e-learning course for wider (remote) use among the Parties.

During its first phase of implementation[3], the Training Academy will feature its own virtual online space on the Prague Process website, displaying both the previously accumulated Prague Process Handbooks and the newly elaborated training materials. This space shall also serve the wider dissemination and use of training materials developed in other ICMPD projects and thereby contribute to policy coherence and complementarity among various EU-funded capacity-building initiatives in the region. For this purpose, close coordination with other relevant stakeholders such as EASO, FRA, UNHCR or IOM will be sought whenever possible, desk research carried out and the proper visibility of the Training Academy ensured.

Finally, the Training Academy shall also represent a platform for the participating states to share their national capacity-building strategies, training curricula and other relevant educational materials. This shall contribute to the exchange of good practices, lessons learnt and useful recommendations among the responsible state authorities.

All results and publications of the Training Academy will be published onto the website www.pragueprocess.eu in English and Russian, shared on the Prague Process Facebook Profile and referred to in the Prague Process Quarterly Review (newsletter). Their further publication onto the ICMPD website will be considered whenever relevant. The produced outputs will also be presented to the annual Senior Officials’ Meetings, representing the decision making body of the Prague Process.

[1] Full project title: “Development of Joint Principles, Procedures and Standards on the integration of Immigrants, with specific focus on Labour Immigrants, between the Russian Federation and European partners in the context of the Prague Process Action Plan”

[2] Full project title: “Eastern Partnership cooperation in the fight against irregular migration – Supporting the implementation of the Prague Process Action Plan”

[3] The first phase of the Training Academy will be implemented within the EU-funded “Prague Process: Dialogue, Analyses and Training in Action” initiative, representing the strand C of the Mobility Partnership Facility 2 (MPF2) project.