Border Management & Visa
Since the beginning of the 1990s, ICMPD has been involved in numerous national, bilateral and EU-level initiatives in the field of border management. In the past few years, ICMPD has focused on the relatively new concept of Integrated Border Management (IBM), which was developed by the European Union (EU) to enhance trade facilitation, while at the same time increasing border security. The overall IBM objective of open, but secure borders is achieved through full coordination and cooperation of all relevant stakeholders, especially border police and customs services, but also veterinary and phytosanitary inspections.
Integrated management of the external borders of the EU, as defined in the 2002 Communication of the European Commission (EC), has been one of the cornerstones of the internal EU migration policy. Modern management tools for border management have been acknowledged as very relevant by beneficiary countries.
ICMPD’s involvement in IBM started with support to the EC in the development of the 'Guidelines for Integrated Border Management in the Western Balkans', endorsed by the Directorates-General of External Relations, Justice, Freedom and Security, Taxation and Customs Union, Health and Consumers Protection and EuropeAid. The Guidelines were first released by the EC in October 2004 and an updated version of the Guidelines was released in January 2007. Later in the spring of 2007, it was published as a Commission Staff Working Paper. Two years later, in 2009, EuropeAid decided to develop a set of guidelines with global applicability that is without a specific geographic focus and, with the support of ICMPD, 'Guidelines for Integrated Border Management in EC External Cooperation' was published in November 2010.
Over the years, ICMPD's Competence Centre for Border Management & Visa has implemented border management projects and activities in many regions of the world, including the European Union, Western Balkans, South East Europe, Southern Caucasus, Central Asia, Africa, South America and South East Asia.