MARRI RC organized Second Joint Training/Workshop “What Border Police gets and needs from MARRI” on the 27 October 2016 in Tirana, Albania. Senior Officials of border control authorities from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Moldova, Serbia and Romania participated at this event as a part of BORDAIRPOL II Project.
The objective of the Workshop entitled What Border Police gets and needs from MARRI was to commence consultative process for development of MARRI Strategy 2017-2020. In order to receive relevant and specific inputs from all target groups of MARRI activities, BORDAIRPOL II project beneficiaries have been asked first to provide information on their specific needs related to MARRI mandate in order to give relevant inputs put in workshop conclusions. (See Conclusions)
These Conclusions will be part of the documents to be used as relevant platform for development of Strategy 2017/2021 and need based projects and activities.
Welcoming the participants on behalf of the host country, Deputy Minister of Interior of the Republic of Albania, Elona Gjebrea Hoxha stated that actual situation in regards to refugees and to the irregular migration flows requires better coordination of actions in daily activities, stressing the importance of the role of MARRI. Gjebrea expressed pleasure that Western Balkan countries have not been left alone in dealing with the migration crisis, but received support and the guarantee by the European Union structures that assisted the national administrations in managing migration in more sufficient manner. She stressed that the main challenges are to increase cooperation between neighboring countries, to strengthen border security as well as to provide adequate treatment of refugees respecting the humanitarian standards and human rights. She reiterated that Albania has already clearly expressed the position for not supporting the closed doors policy, expressing full commitment in resolving the situation that might be faced and readiness to cooperate with the Region and the European Union in finding the best solutions.
In her address to workshop participants, MARRI RC Director, Ambassador Tamara Mugosa, pointed out key features of the ongoing MARRI reform in the context of actual migration phenomenon and EU membership aspirations of MARRI Participants. Presenting reform results and plans, she informed that MARRI has set goals and principles, among which: need based approach; communication and cooperation in determining common needs; usage of existing resources in efficient and effective manner; avoidance of overlap with other regional mechanisms and international organizations shows to be fundamental.
Ambassador Jovan Tegovski, the member of the international team that developed and established MARRI in 2004 and experienced diplomat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia presented historical facts on MARRI, as well as geopolitical context in which this regional mechanism was born and developed. He has stressed the importance of the multi annual implementation of BORDAIRPOL project, assessing that this fact confirms it credibility and need based approach.
Supporting the initiated MARRI reform process, Tegovski pointed out that it should further enhance the regional framework with the aim to assist governments in the region in implementing individual strategies and actions plans. Also, he welcomed readiness of MARRI Participants to support the reform by raising the degree of responsibility for its efficient and effective operation, as well as for the sustainability of the Initiative.
Participants were presented with practical experiences from Bulgaria and Romania in negotiating Chapter 24 related to External borders and Schengen. During discussion, the need for a comprehensive approach in dealing with border police matters and intra-agency cooperation was recognized. Assessing that MARRI represents an excellent regional mechanism in providing need based outputs to national authorities’, representatives of the border police authorities launched constructive proposals and specific initiatives to be considered and developed within the MARRI format and mandate.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence