On 2 February 2023, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a regional meeting of the Heads of Border Police in the Western Balkans.
Bringing together high-level delegations from Border Police of the Western Balkans partners, the meeting serves as a platform to foster intra-regional cooperation in border management.
Organized within the scope of the regional projects „Western Balkans Readmission Capacity Building Facility” (WBCAP) and “Western Balkans Integrated Border Management Capacity Building Facility” (WBIBM) funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the meeting was the opportunity to discuss trends, challenges and ways forward in responding to border security challenges, mindful of migrant protection principles and respect to human rights. Regional cooperation and coordination are crucial to address the identified challenges and promote functional, effective, and integrated systems of border management.
Building on the commitments from the recently adopted Skopje Declaration, the WB partners discussed mixed migration trends and patterns, regional cooperation and developments on return and readmission in the Western Balkans, as well as the global approach to illicit travel trends and national identity management. IOM experts presented global and regional best practices on cooperation and information sharing including the outcomes of the Border Management and Identity Conference.
In the Western Balkans, IOM continues implementing programming, combining policy, dialogue and capacity-building interventions tailored to the needs of each partner, while fostering cooperation and harmonization. Throughout its actions, IOM aims to contribute towards enhancing border management, supporting rights-based response to border security challenges and strengthen readmission systems in line with international standards and innovative practices.