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Project News: FReM III Organises the 4th Project Steering Group Meeting Remotely

27 November 2020

On 24 November 2020, ICMPD organised the fourth project steering group (PSG) meeting in the framework of the EU-funded project Forced-Return Monitoring III (FReM III).

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the project team organised a remote meeting. It gathered representatives from the partner countries Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Switzerland. Furthermore, representatives from the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), the Fundamental Rights Office (FRO), the European Centre for Returns (ECRet) and the Training Unit (TRU) of Frontex, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), and ICMPD participated in the meeting. 

During the meeting, the representative of the Frontex ECRet provided an update for 2020 on the number of return operations carried out, third-country nationals returned and the respective monitoring coverage in Frontex-coordinated return operations. Moreover, participants were informed about the COVID-19 related measures implemented by Frontex in support of return operations. The representatives of the Frontex FRO reported on the main monitoring findings from 2020 and informed participants on the new profile for the pool of forced-return monitors (Pool). Frontex will soon launch another call for contributions by Member States to the Pool. 

The FReM III project team updated participants on implemented, ongoing and upcoming activities. Recently, it published an assessment report on functionality of the Frontex Pool. Among others, the FReM III project team works jointly with the TRU on an e-learning platform for forced-return monitors and jointly with the FRO and the Frontex ICT unit on a reporting application for the Pool. In the coming weeks, the FReM III project team will finalise a gaps and needs analysis of forced-return monitoring systems in Member States and in early 2021 present the results to all project partners and other relevant stakeholders. Due to travel and other COVID-19 related restrictions put in place by national authorities, the project team continues to work remotely and organises all meetings and other events online. 

FReM III contributes to a functioning EU Return System in line with the EU Return Directive (2008/115/EC) with two specific objectives namely, to further establish the pool of forced-return monitors in line with the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation 2019/1896 (EBCG), and to further strengthen national forced-return monitoring systems in Member States. The project runs since December 2018 with participation of 22 partner countries. ICMPD manages and implements the FReM III project in close cooperation with Frontex and FRA. The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union and the partner countries co-fund the project.

For further information, please visit the FReM webpage.

Agenda PSG meeting here