Following the introductory remarks delivered by Assistant Minister of Security Samir Rizvo, Austrian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Ulrike Hartmann, Hilfswerk International Regional Director for the Balkans Suzana Jasharevic, and MARRI RC Director Sashko Kocev, the discussions focused on the possibilities of regional approach and joint engagement in the field of readmission with the support of international partners.

“Regional cooperation in the area of readmission is in the interest of the Western Balkans, the European Union, but also in the interest of stranded migrants who have an unpredictable future and are exposed to different risks,” stressed Director Kocev in his address.

The importance of existence and implementation of effective return, readmission and reintegration policies has been repeatedly highlighted by all participants. Furthermore,  enhancing the dialogue for cooperation with countries of origin of migrants, building the capacities of the transit countries and pooling of the resources were identified as precedence in establishing effective systems.

Ambassador Hartmann also emphasized the importance of regional cooperation in solving migration challenges. She rated the conference as an important step forward, particularly in exchanging experiences between governmental and international non-governmental organizations.

On her part, Hilfswerk Regional Director for Balkans Suzana Jasharevic stated that “The fact is that key actors for this topic met, from the Western Balkans and from the EU, and thus deepened their relationships, cooperation and knowledge about the current issues of readmission relevant to the reduction of irregular migrations towards the EU”.

The conference was co-organised by MARRI RC and Austrian NGO Hilfswerk International, together with Association HAJDE from Bosnia and Herzegovina under the auspices of „Reducing irregular migration to the EU by strengthening the capacity of migration-related structures in the Western Balkans” project, co-financed by the Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Federal Ministry of Interior of Austria.

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29 March – 1 April 2022 – Regional Follow up Conference on Readmission