If you call it “Ahead of the game” (Australian Government) or “Fit for purpose” (UN, OSCE), it does not matter. A changing world and the 2030 SDG Agenda require many institutions and organizations to adapt to the 21st century’s challenges and transformation.
This year, we are proud to mark the 15th anniversary of MARRI as a catalyst for regional cooperation on issues concerning migration, asylum and refugees in the Western Balkans. Back in 2004, MARRI was established with a decision by the Stability Pact of South-Eastern Europe. It has since evolved from a donor-supported organisation to a regional initiative jointly owned by its Participants.
Looking back, I am amazed by the hard work done and the progress made during this challenging but rewarding period. In 2008, the Participants took over the full ownership and leadership of MARRI, while securing its sustainability by funding the running costs for its Secretariat – the MARRI Regional Centre.
Initially, MARRI has been established by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, (North) Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro. Over the years, its composition has changed with the leaving of Croatia and joining of Kosovo* as a full-fledged MARRI Participant. Nevertheless, the commitment towards regional cooperation and a coordinated response to the common challenges has stood the test of time.
*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
“Far more economic migrants pass through the Western Balkans than refugees from the war zones” said MARRI RC Director Sashko Kocev in the interview for Ina Online.
Five months have passed since I took over the position of Director of the MARRI Regional Centre. It is a milestone in my professional life. After more than 29 years with the Macedonian Ministry of Interior, it is the first time that I engage with a different institution – although closely related to the MOI’s tasks in migration management.
I am aware of the challenge I am faced with but at the same time, I am convinced that my extensive experience in Police and border management, as well as the practical knowledge and expertise in implementing numerous EU/IPA funded projects, will greatly benefit our work at MARRI.
“The situation in the region has been significantly improved in terms of capacities and resources to tackle a large influx of migrants but challenges still persist,..” said MARRI RC Director Sashko Kocev in the interview for Plusinfo, Macedonia.
Godišnji Forum Regionalne inicijative za migracije, azil i izbjegla lica (MARRI) održan je juče u Podgorici, čime je zaokruženo jednogodišnje predsjedavanje Crne Gore ovim regionalnim mehanizmom. Forumom je predsjedavao ambasador Milorad Šćepanović, generalni direktor za multilateralne poslove u MVPEI, a učestvovali su predstavnici Albanije, Makedonije, Bosne i Hercegovine, Srbije, Crne Gore i Kosova, kao i predstavnici brojnih međunarodnih organizacija: Međunarodne organizacije za migracije (IOM), OEBS-a, DCAF-a, ICMPD-a i Švajcarskog državnog sekretarijata za migracije.