Regional two-day follow up conference on readmission

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The two-day Regional Follow-up Readmission Conference organized with Regional Center for Regional Initiative for Migration, Asylum and Refugees (MARRI RC) opened today in Sarajevo with introductory speeches by Sashko Kocev, Director of the MARRI RC, Assistant Minister of Security of BiH Samir Rizvo, Austrian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Ulrike Hartmann and Hilfswerk International Regional Director for the Balkans, Suzana Jašarević.

At the first Regional Readmission Conference held in Ohrid in October 2021, MARRI participants pointed to the need for regional coordination with international partners in order to open a dialogue with countries of origin and intensify activities to create a legal framework for cooperation with those countries.

At the conference in Sarajevo, the possibilities of a regional approach in the field of repatriation and the possibilities of joint engagement with the support of international partners in reaching a readmission agreement with the countries of origin of migrants were discussed. 

The importance of the existence and implementation of a more efficient return, readmission and reintegration policy, as key components of good migration management, was emphasized.

"Regional cooperation in the field of readmission is in the interest of the countries of the Western Balkans, the European Union, but also in the interest of stuck migrants who have an unpredictable future and are exposed to various risks," said Director Kocev, in his address.

Also, this conference was assessed as an important step in exchanging experiences and presenting good practices of governmental and international NGOs, learning about cooperation with countries of origin, as well as opportunities to support and facilitate the readmission process.

"The fact is that key actors from the Western Balkans and the EU have met on this topic and are deepening their ties, cooperation and knowledge on current readmission issues relevant to reducing irregular migration to the EU," Jasarevic said.

The conference is organized within the project "Reducing irregular migration in the EU by strengthening the capacity of migration-related structures in the Western Balkans", funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Austrian Ministry of Interior, and implemented by Hilfswerk International and local partner Association HAJDE.