"The ICMPD Western Balkans and Turkey Regional Office supports strengthening migration management, the interlinkages between migration and development and facilitating diaspora engagement in Western Balkans and Turkey while also focusing on addressing the cross-cutting and multi-thematic migration matters as well as priority and emerging needs of the countries where ICMPD operates."
ICMPD Western Balkans and Turkey
Turkey and the Western Balkan countries are the countries most affected by mixed migration flows either as destination, transit or host countries. The region is faced with mounting pressures linked to the large numbers of refugees and displaced they already host and the increasing numbers of refugees and migrants crossing their territories to reach Europe. Since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, Turkey has been hosting the most significant number of refugees in the world. While the repercussions of the Syrian refugee crisis top the migration agenda of Turkey, Turkey is also facing increasing irregular migratory flows from countries to its east and south, with a secondary impact on irregular migration to Europe. The Western Balkans remain a transit region, with Serbia and Bosnia -Herzegovina hosting the highest number of migrants and refugees in the region. The functioning of the 18 March agreement reached between Turkey and the EU in 2016, together with enhanced cooperation between states along the ‘Western Balkans Route’, is essential for better management of the multiple migration challenges in this geography and to be able to have sustainable migration cooperation frameworks in place.
The Regional Office for Western Balkans and Turkey, as the centre of the activities of ICMPD in the region, works with all countries in the region on all aspects of migration to contribute to better migration management in this strategically and operationally important geography. Through its main seat located in Istanbul and through offices located in Ankara, Belgrade, Sarajevo and Skopje and Prishtina the Regional Office coordinates the work of ICMPD in the region and implements projects on the ground.
The current project portfolio of ICMDP in the Western Balkans and Turkey covers topics related to migration management are irregular migration, return, border management, international protection, prevention of trafficking of human beings, migration and development, legal and labour migration, diaspora matters, technical capacity building of the migration administrations and authorities as well as strengthening of cooperation between public institutions and civil society. On the migration and development side, the regional office is implementing projects and activities that focus on entrepreneurship, job creation, business ecosystems, policy and legal frameworks and grant management. The Regional Office for the Western Balkans and Turkey also focuses on enhancing inter-regional and cross-regional dialogue and cooperation through facilitating projects and actions on migration policy development, regional cooperation areas as well as other migration-related areas and multi-thematic migration matters. Working with bilateral and multilateral donors, ICMPD operates as a close partner of relevant public and civil society stakeholders in the region to support capacity building, policy development and implementation.
ICMPD remains committed to further supporting Western Balkan countries and Turkey to develop and implement necessary proactive policies and durable solutions to migration challenges to facilitate sustainable migration management throughout the region.