www.icmpd.org https://www.icmpd.org/ NEWS CENTRE en www.icmpd.org https://www.icmpd.org/typo3conf/ext/tt_news/ext_icon.gif https://www.icmpd.org/ 18 16 NEWS CENTRE TYPO3 - get.content.right http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:00:28 +0100 Project News: Study for the European Parliament on strengthening evaluation of Schengen implementation https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-study-for-the-european-parliament-on-strengthening-evaluation-of-schengen-implementati/ Free movement in the Schengen area is a key achievement of EU integration. The Schengen evaluation... ICMPD’s Policy Unit has co-authored a new study offering recommendations to the European Parliament on strengthening evaluation of the implementation of the Schengen aquis. This new report, The state of play of Schengen governance - An assessment of the Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism in its first multiannual programme, was prepared in cooperation with the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the Migration Policy Centre (MPC) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). It examines the SEMM, which assesses implementation of the Schengen acquis, in its first multiannual programme (2014-19), identifying which aspects have worked well and where there are areas for improvement. Insights from key stakeholders in the process, including evaluated Member States, expert evaluators and European Commission officials, were central to informing the analysis of this less-researched aspect of Schengen.

Unlike other policy areas where the European Commission acts as the guardian of the treaties, the Schengen acquis is evaluated via a joint effort of the Commission and Member States, with important roles also taken by other EU-level actors. The SEMM in its current form is the result of years of practical experience and political debate. The authors found that, overall, this mechanism constitutes a significant improvement in the evaluation of the Schengen acquis from the previous evaluation system. However, while the SEMM has performed well in its initial 5-year cycle, it has not yet managed to realise its full potential.

With a new 5-year evaluation cycle now upon us, the report provides recommendations on how the European Parliament and other key actors can enact legislative changes, implement procedural adjustments, strengthen the consistency of the instrument and enable SEMM evaluations to draw broader conclusions to benefit the Schengen area more broadly. The authors conclude that “The SEMM can be a particularly useful tool to help find a way out of the current impasse through trust-building measures.”

The study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee). 

Read the full report here.

Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:00:28 +0100
Vienna Migration Conference 2020 took place for the fifth time https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/vienna-migration-conference-2020-took-place-for-the-fifth-time/ From 16-19 November 2020, ICMPD hosted the Vienna Migration Conference entitled “Schengen, asylum...

When it comes to the Vienna Migration Conference, it is safe to say that COVID did indeed change everything. ICMPD’s flagship event was held for the first time in a fully online format with a small number of participants present in a multimedia studio and proceeded in line with current restrictions in Vienna, Austria. The conference lasted three and a half days instead of two and a half and introduced several new formats that allowed for more speakers, greater diversity, and debates among expert hands-on practitioners working on concrete migration topics. A total of approximately 2,300 participants took part in the Vienna Migration Conference. They received daily recaps in their mailbox at the end of each day summarising key results of each session.

For the opening, ICMPD brought together the current Chair of the ICMPD’s Steering Group and Federal Councillor at the Federal Department of Justice and Police of Switzerland Karin Keller-Sutter and Portugal’s Minister of Home Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, representing the incoming chair of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. ICMPD Director General Michael Spindelegger moderated the session, opening with these remarks: “Migration and is more relevant than ever. Because it is more difficult than ever. That is why I decided to hold the Vienna Migration Conference despite the difficult circumstances.”

Another major novelty of the Vienna Migration Conference 2020 included was the opening debate between political scientist Ivan Krastev and former Secretary-General of the European Commission Martin Selmayr, neither of whom is working directly on the migration issue. Their discussion revolved around the key question of whether the EU and the Schengen area can survive and thrive in deeply uncertain times. Krastev and Selmayr argued that the first wave of the pandemic represented a “defeat of populism”, but noted that the future remains “uncertain”.

A packed programme

Over the course of four days, a series of dedicated senior panels and focus sessions on a wide variety of topics examined the prospects for the reform of the Common European Asylum System and whether the Schengen area is robust enough to return to full functionality at a time of heightened concerns about migration, security and public health. Altogether, the Vienna Migration Conference hosted eleven focus sessions, one high-level political panel and two senior panels.

Panellists during the four days included, among others: 

  • Mr Yavuz Selim Kıran, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey
  • H.E. Amira El Fadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission
  • Mr Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, European Commission
  • Mr Stephan Mayer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community, Germany
  • Mr Henrik Ankerstjerne, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Immigration and Integration, Denmark
  • Mr Ulrich Weinbrenner, Director General, Directorate-General of Migration, Refugees and Return Policy, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, Germany
  • Mr Markos Karavias, Head, Asylum Service, Ministry of Migration and Asylum, Hellenic Republic
  • Ms Nina Gregori, Executive Director, European Asylum Support Offic
  • Hon. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Secretary, Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment, Bangladesh
  • Ms Andrea Schumacher, Vice-President, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Germany
  • Mr Maciej Popowski, Acting Director-General, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
  • Mr Martijn Pluim, Director, Migration Dialogues and Cooperation, ICMPD

After three and a half days the Conference was closed with remarks by the Director General, who expressed his optimism that 2021 would see the Vienna Migration Conference return to an in in-person format in Vienna again. He added:

“We face a shared migration challenge. There is a broad consensus, even between sending and receiving countries, on how best to respond to this challenge. Progress means taking responsibility for our own borders while at the same time deepening cooperation with others. ICMPD will once again be here to support this effort over the coming five years as the EU’s new financial cycle begins to work in earnest.” A Vienna Migration Conference Report will be available shortly.

Tue, 01 Dec 2020 13:38:04 +0100
Project News: EU4IBM experts continue assessment of the border crossing points in Ukraine https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-eu4ibm-experts-continue-assessment-of-the-border-crossing-points-in-ukraine/ From 23 to 27 November 2020, European Union experts jointly with the State Border Guard Service...

The assessment covered automobile (Novi Yarylovychi), air (Boryspil), railway (Kuchurgan) as well as maritime BCPs (Pivdennyi Seaport and Odesa Sea Trade Port) and became another step towards advancement of both border and customs processes and procedures at the border crossing points.

During the field visits, the team consisting of experts from the EU Member States, SBGS and SCS carried out an in-depth analysis of border and customs control procedures starting from the entry to the customs territory of Ukraine until the exit from the BCP. The assessment looked into the formalities of processing of passengers and cargo in BCPs for road, rail, sea and air transport modes, as well as current situation at the border crossing points. The main idea behind the action is to identify the gaps, develop recommendations and propose model solutions allowing to reduce time and resources for the processes at BCPs while ensuring fast and safe passage of goods and persons through the border.

In the coming months, based on the mission findings and data collected, the project experts will work on detailed recommendations and action plans for their implementation in parallel with the development of concepts of model BCP solutions.

Once the concepts are in place and endorsed by the SBGS and SCS, EU4IBM will support their implementation to enable border management agencies to offer better service delivery to people, promote regional cooperation, cross-border trade, development and human contact, allow both citizens and companies to benefit from increased mobility and integration into the world economic flows, and ensure a high level of security and prevention of cross-border crime.

Tue, 01 Dec 2020 10:40:57 +0100
Project News: 3rd International Border Management Conference successfully completed https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-3rd-international-border-management-conference-successfully-completed/ The 3rd International Border Management Conference took place on 23-24 November, 2020. Organised by...

The conference was a continuation of the previous years’ events in Yerevan in 2019 and Beirut in 2018, however, it looked and functioned quite differently from years past. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic limitations, the conference was moved online from the usual in-person setting, which brought along new opportunities for the event. For the first time, the conference was hosted in an online format, which facilitated recordings which will be available to registrants for re-watch in all four languages. Participants also had the opportunity to ask questions directly and to choose which sessions to join at their leisure. The online nature of this event also provided a secure platform where field experts and high-level speakers could exchange openly. Furthermore, 276 registrations were received, toppling previous years’ attendance rates purely by virtue of “unlimited seating,” so-to-speak, and not to mention, the audience joined from over 50 countries, whose only concern needs be the time difference for some, and not the expenses and effort of travel and related logistics.    

The conference was steered by members of ICMPD’s Border Management and Security (BMS) Programme, with Head of Programme Mr. Borut Eržen and Senior BMS Advisors Mr. Jean-Yves Charriou and Ms. Monika Weber as moderators. The keynote speeches were provided by Mr. Michael Spindelegger, ICMPD Director General; Mr. Maciej Popowski, Acting Director General, European Commission, DG NEAR; Mr. Berndt Körner, Deputy Executive Director, FRONTEX; Brig. Gen. Youssef Haddad, Lebanese Armed Forces, Chairman of the Border Control Committee; and Mr. Martijn Pluim, ICMPD Director of Migration Dialogues and Cooperation. Following the introduction, the two days were split into two thematic roundtables, inviting topic experts to share their experience and knowledge in the changing topic of everyday border management. 

Day 1 looked at border management responses for the era of tomorrow from the perspective of highly-ranked officials and experts with backgrounds in customs, border guard, military, police, economic and security authorities from across the world. The speakers were able to shed light through different angles on numerous aspects of comprehensive border governance, whether related to border security, trade facilitation or even mobilisation of local border communities.

Day 2 followed with a more technical, forward-looking insight into the concept of morphing, regarding challenges and opportunities in biometrics, new modalities and new approaches. This roundtable offered different views on document security, counterterrorism, implications for migration patterns as well as academic and security-sector views on all that encompasses morphing. The need for further research, capacity building, cooperation and coordination, as well as awareness raising and sharing good practices amongst different actors involved in border management, were named as key elements needed for tackling biometric manipulations and facilitating morphing detection at the borders.

The conference concluded with a speech by Mr. Eržen, admitting that while this year has only reinforced how unpredictable the future can be, border management will remain a topic at the forefront of world interest and committed cooperation between countries and agencies is needed more than ever.  While looking to the future, Mr. Eržen could not help but hope that the next conference of 2021 will be back to a normal, in-person setting, and wished viewers a safe “logging out of their computers,” in lieu of a safe trip home. 

The conference was jointly financed by funds of the projects Mobility Partnership Facility, Prague Process, Strengthening Border Security in Ghana (SBS Ghana), and Strengthening Capability for Integrated Border Management in Lebanon (EU IBM Lebanon phase III) – as well as the Federal Republic of Germany through the Support Programme for the Tunisian Government in the field of Integrated Border Management (IBM Tunisia Phase III). The event was hosted online in 4 different languages (English, French, Russian and Arabic).

Download the Agenda of the conference here.

Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:23:47 +0100
Project News: ICMPD conducts two trainings on migration and crisis management for Libyan authorities https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-icmpd-conducts-two-trainings-on-migration-and-crisis-management-for-libyan-authorities/ On 17-19 November 2020, ICMPD organised two trainings on the important topics of consular crisis...

Consular Crisis Management 

The first training, on 17 November, was an awareness-raising workshop to bring attention to the importance to enhance the crisis management capacities of the Libyan authorities in charge of supporting Libyan nationals abroad in preparation for potential future crises. ICMPD partnered with the Diplomatic Institute of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to organise the training. 

During the workshop, participants from the Department for Consular Affairs and the Department for Expatriate Affairs of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) gathered at the Diplomatic Institute in Tripoli where they discussed key concepts and lessons learned on consular crisis preparedness, and they identified training needs and opportunities in the area of consular crisis management. This workshop was based on the lessons learned and tools of the past “Migrants in Countries in Crisis” (MICIC) project. Next to ICMPD expert, Aurélie Sgro, who led the training session via Zoom, a peer exchange with an expert coming from the Office of the Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns at the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs allowed for a discussion on concrete experiences and a reflection on another country’s good practices.

The workshop was a successful first step towards improving the crisis management capacities of the Libyan authorities. Mohamed Musbah, Head of the Migration & Humanitarian Affairs Division, International Organization Department of the Libyan MFA, noted that, “Today’s workshop is a very important workshop in this very difficult context of the corona pandemic”. Ayad Elbay, Deputy Director of the Libyan Diplomatic Institute, thanked the EU for its support and highlighted that there is “a need for workshops and awareness raising on contingency planning” and he noted, “The Diplomatic Institute aspires to continue the cooperation with ICMPD on this topic”.

Migration Governance Training

On 18 November, ICMPD launched a two-day Migration Governance Training Course for Libyan officials. ICMPD partnered with the European University Institute’s (EUI) Migration Policy Centre (MPC), a leading research institute in the area of migration and its governance, for the training. 

During the training, Libyan participants, including civil servants at ministries in charge of migration, staff of the House of Representatives (HoR), and representatives of the Libyan municipal councils, discussed and shared their experiences on a wide range of fundamental theories, concepts and institutional and legal frameworks related to international migration. The EUI MPC experts presented their training sessions via Zoom, while the Libyan participants joined the training via Zoom from Tripoli, Tobruk and Benghazi in Libya. 

The successful event gathered officials from the Libyan Bureau of Statistics & Census, the HoR, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor and Rehabilitation, Ministry of Local Governance, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Social Affairs, the Municipal Councils, NTBSM, Presidential Council, as well as officials from the European Union and experts and colleagues from the EUI MPC and ICMPD. Sandra Goffin, Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to Libya stressed: “There could not be a better time for this workshop; your role and actions are instrumental from our point of view for improving the migration governance as part of the overall governance reform and security sector reform in Libya”.  Abdunasser Segayer, Chair of the Libyan NTBSM, welcomed the expertise and support from ICMPD on important issues such as the development of the institutional framework on migration and the participation of Libya in dialogues on migration.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, both events were conducted partially via Zoom, with the Libyan participants joining in from several locations in Libya, including Tripoli, Tobruk and Benghazi. 

The aim of the “Strategic and Institutional Management of Migration in Libya” project, which is implemented by ICMPD in collaboration with the Libyan National Team for Border Security and Management (NTBSM), is to support the efforts to improve the management of migration flows and the conditions of migrants in Libya. 

Read more about the “Strategic and institutional management of migration in Libya” project here

Fri, 27 Nov 2020 13:38:01 +0100
Project News: EU4IBM supports training of Ukrainian border guards and customs officers https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-eu4ibm-supports-training-of-ukrainian-border-guards-and-customs-officers/ On 20 November 2020, the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) and State Customs Service (SCS) of...

The training became another step towards establishing a functioning monitoring and evaluation system of IBM Strategy and Action Plan implementation in Ukraine. The training session was delivered to 15 SBGS and SCS representatives by experienced trainers from the Kyiv-Mohyla School of Governance. The participants were equipped with methodologies and tools applied in the process of monitoring, evaluation and quality management tailored to IBM Strategy and Action Plan implementation in Ukraine. Special attention was paid to specifics of each of the processes, peculiarities of formulating the overall and specific objectives, tasks of the policies, formulation and development of indicators, developing and applying means of collecting data from sources of verification as well as measuring progress. 

The training is a continuation of the project work to support national IBM stakeholders with the development of tools and procedures to effectively steer the IBM policy development and implementation in Ukraine. Further project activities will be built around the development of monitoring indicators and evaluation criteria, development and operationalisation of the monitoring methodology to track the progress of IBM Strategy and AP implementation as well as introduction of the IT-based monitoring system.

More information on EU4IBM can be found here.

Mon, 23 Nov 2020 10:53:52 +0100
Project News: FReM III publishes assessment report on functionality of the Frontex pool of forced-return monitors https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-frem-iii-publishes-assessment-report-on-functionality-of-the-frontex-pool-of-forced-re/ The Forced-Return Monitoring III (FReM III) project just released a report on the Assessment of the...

On 7 January 2017, the pool of forced-return monitors (Pool) was established by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), in line with Article 29 of the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 in force at the time, and on the basis of the outcomes of the Forced-Return Monitoring I project (FReM I). The Pool consists of monitors from the bodies in Member States responsible for carrying out forced-return monitoring activities in accordance with Article 8(6) of Directive 2008/115/EC.

Since the Pool was established, the FReM II and FReM III projects have been supporting Frontex in institutionalising the Pool within the structures of the Agency. One of the aims of the FReM III project is to hand over to Frontex in 2021 the full conceptualisation of the approach for the management of the Pool and all related procedures and activities. In order to prepare the grounds for the handover, the FReM III project team conducted an assessment of how the Pool currently functions and specifically to:

  1. better understand and describe how the Pool operates and how it is managed; and
  2. identify possible gaps and needs, along with good practices, in its operations and management, in order to suggest possible approaches to improve the day-to-day management, sustainability, transparency and independence of the Pool.

The assessment was based on a multi-method study which included, among others, semi-structured interviews with key Frontex staff and an online survey for forced-return monitors of the Pool. Some of the main findings and recommendations from the survey are:

  • The procedures and criteria for nominating monitors to the Pool should be more effective and transparent.
  • The training offered to the monitors of the Pool should be more frequent, focus on additional practical training and training on drafting monitoring reports.
  • The monthly calls for monitors should include more information and the related communication and information sharing with monitors should be more efficient.
  • The number of monitors nominated for deployment should be increased, while the criteria for selection should be more transparent.
  • As part of the preparation for upcoming return operations, monitors should receive more and timely information; and there should be more time between receipt of operational information and the actual start of the return operation.
  • The reporting format for the Pool should become more user-friendly and the overall communication and the feedback to monitors regarding their monitoring reports should be more effective.
  • The reimbursement procedures should be less cumbersome and provide for uniform compensation for monitors’ working time including a standardised monitoring fee.

The FReM III project is already addressing some the findings and recommendations from the assessment with the available capacities. 

To access the executive summary, the full assessment report and its annexes, please click on the links below:

More information on the Forced-Return Monitoring III (FReM III) project can be found here. 

Fri, 20 Nov 2020 13:09:27 +0100
Around the Globe: ICMPD and EASO sign Exchange of Letters to strengthen cooperation https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/around-the-globe-icmpd-and-easo-sign-exchange-of-letters-to-strengthen-cooperation/ A new cooperation framework between ICMPD and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) enhances...

On the margins of the Vienna Migration Conference, the Director General of ICMPD Mr. Michael Spindelegger and the Executive Director of EASO, Ms. Nina Gregori, virtually exchanged letters reiterating their commitment to the close cooperation that has been built between both parties. 

The long-established collaboration between EASO and ICMPD in the fields of their respective mandates called for a joint framework to structure cooperation in matters of common interest. Consultations between the parties resulted in an agreement on cooperation in the field of capacity building, research, policy, knowledge management and training.

The letters formalising the cooperation framework pave the way for the two parties to continue building on the excellent collaboration to-date, and to provide high quality expertise in the fields of migration and asylum. Closer cooperation is both mutually enriching and beneficial for future activities implemented in cooperation with our common partners in Europe and beyond.

Thu, 19 Nov 2020 11:03:00 +0100
Project News: ICMPD signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Mixed Migration Centre https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-icmpd-signs-memorandum-of-understanding-with-the-mixed-migration-centre/ The signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC) and... MMC, as part of the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), is a leading source for independent and high-quality data, information, research and analysis on mixed migration. The MoU with MMC was signed to deepen relations, promote strategic partnership and enhance the effective cooperation on policy and operational levels. It shall also facilitate information exchange and the realisation of jointly implemented programmes and projects. Specifically, cooperation between ICMPD and MMC shall evolve in three areas: research and policy, capacity-building and migration dialogues.

The cooperation between ICMPD and the MMC has progressively developed since 2018, as illustrated by the successful collaboration with the migration dialogues such as the Intergovernmental Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) and the EU-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative (Khartoum Process) or during the Vienna Migration Conference in 2019. The Memorandum of Understanding will further strengthen this ongoing cooperation.

Thu, 19 Nov 2020 11:03:00 +0100
Project News: 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Communicator’s Workshop for a new balanced narrative on migration https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-3rd-euro-mediterranean-communicators-workshop-for-a-new-balanced-narrative-on-migrati/ On 10-11 November 2020, the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Communicator’s Workshop was held in the...

The introductory remarks, given by ICMPD Deputy Director General Lukas Gerhke, were followed by a keynote speech by H.E. George William Vella, President of Malta. This high-level workshop gathered a prominent set of speakers, coming from the broad Euro-Mediterranean region and beyond, and from numerous international organizations, governments and academic institutes, for over 130 participants.

The event aimed at responding to the most current challenges to the implementation of balanced migration narratives, identifying the elements that determine effective communication on migration and the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on migration narrative. In particular, the meeting focused on six main subjects:

  • The state of play of migration narratives in 2020 in the Euro-Mediterranean region; 
  • Effective communication on migration: a fundamental tenet for multilateral cooperation in the Mediterranean;
  • Analysing the elements of the migration narrative to forecast its development;
  • What policy communication works for migration? Using values to depolarize;
  • How to Perform Impact Assessments: Key Steps for Assessing Communication Interventions;
  • Disinformation and its impact on migration narratives

Participants expressed widespread consensus on the fact that the current health crisis has further exacerbated the polarization of the public debate on migration but also shed light on the positive contribution migrants make in the current crisis, thus opening new perspectives to change the current narrative.

The workshop provided practical recommendations from prominent experts in the field that will help practitioners be better aware and prepared for such upcoming strenuous tests. In particular, it was stressed, among other issues, using the right terminology, emphasizing the different aspects of migration such as the benefits of labour mobility for both origin and destination countries, focusing on value-based messaging that reveal common values and tackling misinformation.

The need for greater cooperation in a multi-stakeholders’ partnerships framework, to ensure more complementarity around actions and greater integration of the work of journalists, policy-makers and civil society organizations around this topic was also stressed.

Over more than 16 years, the EUROMED Migration programme has been supporting EU Member States and the European Neighborhood Instrument Southern Partner Countries in establishing a comprehensive, constructive and operational dialogue and co-operation framework on migration. The EMM4 project has long been at the forefront of efforts to re-balance the narrative on migration, providing a strategic platform for migration policymakers and communication specialists to share views and work out overarching strategies to steer the debate away from unproductive narratives and towards evidence-based policy-making.

The next phase of the EUROMED Migration programme, which will start on 1st December 2020, will serve at further improving migration related knowledge and data management, and fostering a realistic and fair narrative on migration promoting mutual dialogue and mutual understanding.

Further information on EMM4 can be found here.

Mon, 16 Nov 2020 11:05:10 +0100