On 16 May,
Frontex together with representatives of the
European Asylum Support Office (EASO), International Organization for Migration
(IOM), the office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other local partners in Belgrade,
Serbia, discussed the achievements of the first phase of the
EU-funded “Regional Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management
in the Western Balkans and Turkey” project.
The aim of the project was to introduce and share EU
standards and best practices on migration management in the Western Balkan
region and Turkey.
Frontex and its partners supported the countries in
developing a protection-sensitive response to migration flows, assisting them
in strengthening systems that aim at better identification and referral of
those migrants that are in need of international protection or asylum.
In the course of the project, Frontex organised more than 20
training sessions for 250 participants from the Western Balkans and Turkey. The
topics ranged from combatting trafficking in human beings to the detection of
document fraud and the respect for fundamental rights during return operations.
“The project allows us to respond effectively to
common challenges in the EU and in our neighbourhood. Border guards need to be
able to identify vulnerable groups. This is why Frontex helps strengthen the
identification, registration and referral systems in the beneficiary
countries,” said Frontex Deputy Director during his speech in Belgrade.
A part of Frontex’s efforts also concentrated on return
operations, a core part of the EU migration management policy. To ensure that
the highest standards, including fundamental rights, are respected during
return operations, the agency’s experts provided a range of training activities
for the beneficiary countries, helping them develop an operational and
transparent return system based on a unified European approach and procedures.
The project was organised in the framework of the Instrument
for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II) to six Western Balkan countries and
Turkey. The participants renewed their commitment
to support the region’s countries in migration management and will start work
on the kick-off of the second phase of the project today.