Sarajevo – Following the initiative of MARRI Participants, MARRI under the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and IOM jointly organized the first Regional Meeting on Readmission in the Western Balkans, aimed at discussing readmission practices, challenges and opportunities at a regional level therefore fostering further regional cooperation and harmonization with EU standards and practices on readmission.

While readmission in the Western Balkans is a broad topic that touches upon many aspects of migration management, the discussions at this regional meeting focused on three key areas: 1) readmission practices, figures and challenges in the Western Balkans (presented by WB Readmission Officers); 2) implementation and practices of EU readmission agreements and, 3) possibilities for readmission cooperation with countries of origin. The meeting was attended by relevant readmission officers and members of the Joint Readmission Committees of MARRI Participants,  IOM thematic readmission experts and representatives of MARRI RC as co-host and moderator of the discussions.

In the session aimed at assessing the situation of readmission in the Western Balkans from the perspectives of the readmission practitioners, moderated by MARRI RC Director Sashko Kocev, the readmission officers of the MARRI Participants presented the figures, practices and challenges of readmission in the Western Balkans and engaged in a discussion on the possibilities for a strategic regional approach on readmission in the region.

IOM’s thematic experts, presented IOM’s position and engagement on readmission globally, with a focus on the EURCAP facility project and possible new opportunities in the Western Balkans. During the meeting the MARRI Participants delegations pointed out that a key role which MARRI and IOM could have in the region regarding readmission, is in the establishment of readmission cooperation with relevant countries of origin.

IOM and MARRI have engaged in a strategic partnership which will provide targeted interventions aimed at strengthening the cooperation on readmission on both policy and operational levels among MARRI Participants, the EU and countries of origin. The Regional Meeting on Readmission in the Western Balkans was the first activity in the process.

14 May 2019 – Regional Meeting on Readmission in the Western Balkans