Strengthening Integrated Border Management in the Western Balkans and Turkey (2009 - 2011)

Geographical Coverage: Hungary coordinating IOM Mission, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo under UNSCR No 1244, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey

Duration: 15 Jun 2009 - 14 Jun 2011

Donor: EC IPA Regional Programme 2007, the Government of Netherlands

Status: Completed

Summary: The European Union has introduced the candidate countries and potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey to a clear concept of Integrated Border Management (IBM) under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the Association Partnership. While the region is progressing towards EU membership, the border management approach at the regional level remains fragmented and non-cooperative, with each country acting independently and sharing information sparingly or not at all. Ultimately, this programme will lead to the adoption of more open, but well-controlled and secure borders through cooperation and coordination between all agencies at a national, bilateral and regional level, which will also lead to intensified cooperation on the issues with the EU. Given that these countries have an accession perspective the introduction of international standards and best practices in IBM of the EU is crucial. Aiming for EU standards in border management will also allow the target countries to cope with the challenges of increasing international trade and transportation.