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Project News: MPF workshop “EU-Belarus Mobility Partnership – the state of play and the way forward”

11 June 2018

Providing good practices on the implementation of Mobility Partnerships (MP), introducing EU tools available to support their operationalisation, identifying key actions and facilitating direct contacts between Member States of the EU (EU MS) and Belarus were the objectives of a workshop organised under the Mobility Partnership Facility (MPF) in Minsk held on 7 June.

The event gathered 45 participants from various national authorities of Belarus, all EU MS that have signed the respective MP, as well as representatives of the EU Delegation in Minsk, the European Commission, ICMPD, IOM and UNHCR.

During the one-day workshop presentations and discussions evolved around concrete expectations of Belarus from the partnership signed in 2016. EU MS and international organisations gave an overview of ongoing actions under the MP and, most importantly, presented concrete areas in which they could provide expertise and tailored support to the authorities of Belarus. Speakers also stressed that despite its non-binding character the MP represents an important programme for enhanced cooperation between the EU, EU MS and Belarus on large number of migration-related topics. This endeavour requires coordination at national level as well as at establishment of a dedicated mechanism to regularly take stock of the progress of implementation of the MP and plan further steps.

Assistance in developing a national migration policy concept and enhancing cooperation of migration services, joint actions in the area of border management, exchange of experiences in the fight against trafficking in human beings, management of legal migration and of migration data were among the suggested areas.

The event was preceded by a workshop under the MIgration EU eXpertise (MIEUX) Initiative, one of the EU funded projects that supports the MP with Belarus.  The purpose of this workshop was to look at the actions at legislative and policy levels to be undertaken by the Belarusian authorities in order to enhance overall labour migration management in compliance with international conventions on migrant workers. The participants discussed and validated the final output of this MIEUX Action, the “Analytical Report on the Legislation in the field of external labour migration”. Special attention was paid to recommendations from the report and the way forward for potential ratification of the ILO Convention 97 and other international conventions on migrant workers. At the same time, the experts involved raised awareness about EU legislation in the area of labour migration, and gave guidelines about the public policy cycle for the future development and implementation of an effective and comprehensive national migration policy. 

More information on the MPF and on MIEUX.