Project News

BOMCA: 20 years of successful cross-border cooperation

24 November 2023


On 15 November, the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA) held an official reception in Tashkent marking the 20th anniversary of the EU flagship initiative for the region. The hallmark event gathered over 150 participants representing donor institutions, national counterparts, implementing consortium, and international stakeholders. The occasion provided the opportunity to reflect on achievements and success stories as well as to thank programme partners for their cooperation over the years. The event was held together with the Central Asia Drug Action Programme, the second flagship initiative for the region launched jointly with BOMCA. 

H.E. Ambassador of the European Union to Uzbekistan Ms. Charlotte Adriaen underlined that the programme ‘has played a pivotal role in cooperation, stability, and development in the region’. Since its start in 2003, BOMCA has played a key role in strengthening the cooperation among border control authorities through the concept of integrated border management. It has also been instrumental in aligning border control practices with international and EU standards. BOMCA has expanded its thematic focus, transitioning from a sole emphasis on security-oriented topics to a comprehensive approach encompassing trade facilitation, migration governance, and community engagement in border regions. Having established a strong partnership with the Central Asian governments, BOMCA has played an instrumental role in sharing the best practices of the European Union member states (EU MSs). Additionally, it has facilitated the identification and exchange of good practices within the region. 

Since 2004, ICMPD has actively participated in the implementation of the programme by providing thematic expertise facilitation. As of 2015, it has become an integral part of the implementing consortium for phase 9 alongside EU MSs. Leveraging its extensive thematic knowledge in migration and border management across diverse geographical regions, ICMPD is assuming a leadership role in the innovative thematic component aimed at enhancing cross-border cooperation in the 10th phase. This initiative focuses on advancing local economic development to enhance living conditions in border areas, with a specific emphasis on human rights, gender equality, and vulnerable groups. The target beneficiaries include local authorities, civil society, and non-governmental organisations.

The current 10th phase is implemented by the consortium of border management institutions of selected EU member states and ICMPD, led by the State Border Guard of the Republic of Latvia. Started on 1 April 2021 with a total budget of EUR 21.65 million for 54 months, this is the largest phase of the programme to date.