Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, co-organised a conference marking the ongoing Phase III of the Protection-Sensitive Migration Management Systems in the Western Balkans (PSMM) programme.
Since the start of the Frontex-coordinated and EU-funded project on protection-sensitive migration management in the Western Balkans, nearly 1000 participants have taken part in various related activities.
The aim of the project is to introduce and share EU standards and best practices on migration management with Western Balkan authorities.
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 migrants in need international protection or asylum.
The conference, which took place on Thursday in Brussels, brought together leaders of border police and institutions responsible for asylum and reception from all Western Balkan partners and the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for EU Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations.
The event aimed to reinforce partnerships for the successful execution of the current phase and assess the achievements of previous phases. In line with the programme's goals, the conference focused on enhancing cooperation between Western Balkan authorities and implementing organisations for more effective migration management. It also promoted further alignment of regional asylum and reception systems with EU standards, building on a long history of productive collaboration between all involved institutions and stakeholders.
During the Thursday conference, implementing partners and stakeholders:
- Shared best practices and lessons learned in specific areas over the years;
- Recognised efforts and celebrated tangible achievements;
- Highlighted the importance of ongoing strong cooperation among all relevant institutions and actors.
Phase III of the programme started in 2022, with activities fully starting in 2023. Frontex (the lead implementing partner), the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) collaborate to carry out the PSMM programme. Since 2016, the PSMM has been funded by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).