On 5-6 September 2022, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, the EU-funded Border Management Programme in Central Asia – Phase 10 (BOMCA 10) started its first of a series of National Project Steering Group Meetings (NSGMs) in Central Asia. During September – October 2022, the leadership of the project, representatives of the European Union and implementing partners will meet with the key partners, such as state agencies and international organisations in all countries across the region to review the Programme’s progress in the current year and to define upcoming plans.
The NSGM is the management mechanism of the project’s implementation at the country level, which provides an oversight and coordination of the Programme’s efforts. The two-day event in each country is dedicated to the joint sessions, followed by bilateral thematic consultations with each of the key national and international stakeholders. The consultations with international partners cover partnership opportunities for the next year and assessment of the previous cooperation. These meetings will further serve as a solid basis for the upcoming Regional Project Steering Group meeting to evaluate progress of the project implementation in the Central Asian region.
To date, BOMCA has implemented 93 activities across four thematic areas such as institutional development of border control agencies, development of detection capacities, facilitation of trade and improvement of cross-border cooperation at the regional and national levels. Over 1400 officials of Central Asian border, customs, veterinary / phytosanitary and other related agencies as well as representatives of the civil society have participated in various project initiatives.
Noteworthy, the results of the Programme’s activities include action points proposed to the national partners in the format of recommendations, guidelines, operating procedures and training manuals. In the next implementation period along with the realisation of the agreed work plan, the project will maintain regular contact with the national counterparts to stay abreast about the progress of acting upon the proposed actions under completed activities.
To monitor progress towards project goals and to facilitate co-operation and partnerships with the beneficiaries during the implementation phase, the NSGMs will be next held in Uzbekistan, followed by Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in the course of September – October 2022.
BOMCA is the flagship and the largest EU-funded Programme in Central Asia. Its current 10th phase (BOMCA 10) has started on April 1, 2021 for the period of 54 months with the budget of EUR 21.65 million. BOMCA 10 is implemented by the consortium of border management institutions of the selected EU MSs and ICMPD led by the State Border Guard of the Republic of Latvia. The Programme aims to enhance security, stability and sustainable growth in the region, while supporting cross-border cooperation and improving living conditions for people in the border areas of Central Asia. Thematically, BOMCA 10 covers four components: institutional development of border management agencies, improvement of detection capacities, trade facilitation, and improvement of cross-border cooperation. Geographically, the project covers all five countries of Central Asia.
International Centre for Migration Policy Development has been involved in the work of Border Management Programme since its earliest phases. In the current, tenth phase, it is entrusted with one of the thematic components of the programme - cross-border cooperation actively engaging with both national and local authorities as well as with civil society. Furthermore, ICMPD serves as the BOMCA Secretariat and ensures overall financial, administrative, and technical management of the project.