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

Project type: Technical Cooperation

Geographical coverage: Western Balkan States (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo under UNSCR No 1244, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) and Turkey

Executing agency: International Organization for Migration

Beneficiaries: Border management structures in the Western Balkans (WB) and Turkey, 1) all personnel involved in border management and the Governments in the eight target countries 2) EU Member States which will benefit from decreased irregular migration and criminal activity; 3) third country nationals passing through the borders of the eight countries, who will benefit from faster and safer procedures; 4) companies that import from, export to, or transport through these countries, which will benefit from shorter waiting lines, as well as more transparent and more reliable procedures;

Partner(s): Polish Border Guards, Italian Customs Agency, Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development/Department of food chain control, Frontex (Associate), Finnish National Board of Customs, National Criminal Police Sweden

Duration: June 2009 - May 2011


The overall objective is to enhance the development of functional, effective and integrated systems of border management in line with EU standards in the Western Balkans and Turkey through the improvement of inter-agency, bilateral and regional cooperation and coordination.

The specific objectives are to facilitate the establishment of open, but well-controlled and secure borders among the Western Balkan States and Turkey, as well as between these countries and EUMSs and other international actors. In particular, the more effective management of borders at the national and regional level will be established through the support of relevant services involved. In addition, risk analysis for Border Crossing Point (BCP)-level procedures and operations will be improved in order to effectively identify suspicious cases without hampering legitimate movements.

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 all the countries but one border the EU and are either EU candidate countries or potential candidate countries, the introduction of international standards and best practices in Integrated Border Management (IBM) of the EU is crucial. Aiming for EU standards in border management will also allow the target countries to cope with the future challenges of international trade and transportation.

Project Results:

I. Reinforcement of IBM Concept at a Regional Level through the establishment of a Permanent Regional Forum for Heads of Border Services and the establishment of an Assessment and Monitoring Team – Benchmarking.

II. Enhancement/Adoption and Implementation of National IBM Strategies at a Regional Level through
general and specialised trainings on IBM Strategies and Action Plans and Risk Analysis.
III. Strengthening or Implementing National IBM Strategies Through BCP Level Operations in Identifying and Processing Suspicious Cases without Disturbing Legitimate Movements