BiH has made progress in the fight against illegal migration and organized crime

The results achieved in the implementation of the Twinning project „Assistance to the Ministry of Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees and other competent authorities in effectively managing migration“ were presented at the final conference in Sarajevo on Friday. The project was financed by the European Union in the amount of 750,000 euro from Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance 2007, and implemented by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service of the Netherlands and the Danish Immigration Service.

According to the Acting Head of the EU Delegation to BiH, Renzo Daviddi, this project is an integral part of the wider EU assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the field of migration and asylum, with the objective to support BiH in more effective migration and asylum management, and suppress illegal activities related to trafficking of human beings.

„In the last 10 years, the EU has also been supporting BiH in fighting illegal migration and organised crime by strengthening implementation capacity of the Border Police, Ministry of Security, SIPA, as well as other stakeholders. The European Union is very pleased to see the progress in this domain, such as: good implementation of the Law on Movement and Stay of Aliens and Asylum, implementation of the National Migration Strategy, publication of the third Migration Profile of BiH, full use of the Migration Information System, well functioning of the reception centre for illegal migrants, successful implementation of the Readmission Agreement between the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina and improved inter-agency cooperation through establishment of the  coordination body established to implement the asylum and migration strategy and action plan,„ said Daviddi.

Daviddi also stressed that during the 18 months of the project implementation, the assessment of the functionality of the current migration management system was carried out, which resulted in five specific recommendations for the redistribution of competencies between the responsible institutions within the current migration management system and streamlining of a certain work processes and procedures, which would result in a more efficient and cost-effective migration management.

Project leader, Bert van Hoorn, from the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Ministry of the Interior of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said on this occasion that the experts from the Netherlands, Denmark and BiH, as well as experts from the other EU countries, analyzed the existing legal framework in the field of migration and asylum, and made 51 recommendations in order to harmonized the BiH legalisation with the Schengen Acquis.

„It is a long way ahead of you to become part of the European family, but I think your goal is now clearer,“ he said. Van Hoorn added that the first concrete result is the fact that the Ministry of Security has already begun to work on preparing the amendments on the Law on Movement and Stay of Aliens.

According to BiH Minister of Security, Sadik Ahmetovic, the goal of migration management strategy is to synchronize this system with the EU, and in addition to participate in the development of migration management at the regional level, and to prepare for the inclusion of the BiH migration system in the European system of migration.

The Netherlands Ambassador to BiH, Van Voorst tot Voors, said that the migration is a constant topic of discussions in the EU because they are very important for each country.

The Kingdom of Denmark Ambassador to BiH, Kirsten Geelan, said that she was glad that the visa regime was abolished for citizens of BiH during this project, because the visa-free travel enables establishing contacts, developing business relationships and possibilities for citizens of the Western Balkans to become more familiar with the EU.

There were 400 employees of BiH institutions and 63 foreign experts participants in the activities of this project.