IOM's Regional Cooperation project between Greece & Bulgaria completed with an online event


Representatives from the European Union Delegation to Turkey, Ministry of Interior (MoI), Directorate General of Provincial Administration (DGPA), Turkish National Police (TNP), General Command of Gendarmerie, Turkish Coast Guard Command (TCG), Ministry of Trade, Hellenic Police, the Chief Directorate of Border Police of Bulgaria, Central Finance and Contracts Unit (CFCU), other respective stakeholders and International Organization for Migration (IOM) gathered virtually on the 28th of May 2021 to launch the closing meeting of the “Regional Co-operation on Border Management with Greece and Bulgaria-Phase 2” project. Since May 2017, the project has been running with the support of the European Union and the Government of Turkey.  

As the continuation of Phase 1, the project aimed to strengthen both border control and migration management mechanisms and support coordination between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. Within the project, a wide range of activities were covered, including training on various thematic issues such as examination of travel documents, document security and risk analysis, fundamental human rights aspects of border management, vocational English, Greek and Bulgarian courses, study visits to the EU countries, and coordination and cooperation meetings with the co-beneficiaries.  

During the webinar, Darijus PAMPARAS, IBM Project Manager, presented to all stakeholders the achievements of the project highlighting the key outcomes and lessons learned from the project. The head of Border Management, Mehmet YUZER, said in his remarks stated, “Our regional cooperation project between the three countries, for which we are holding the closing meeting today, is a project that has yielded very productive results in terms of ensuring compliance with the European Union integrated border management system, increasing personnel capacity, and developing national and international cooperation.”  

David SAVARD, IOM Turkey’s Deputy Chief of Mission/ Emergency Coordinator pointed out that IOM Turkey was particularly encouraged by the spirit of cooperation that prevailed among the countries and agencies involved in developing the effective Integrated Border Management concept in Turkey and the region. He also added that he believed this project was a good example of supporting Member States for "Regional Cooperation" -- a unique feature of IOM’s Approach to Integrated Border Management.  

The project contributed to the development of functional, effective and integrated border management systems between Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey in line with EU standards through the enhancement of inter-agency, bilateral and regional cooperation and coordination. The action drew on the added value of IOM’s global expertise in Immigration and Border Management, which is directed at helping governments develop policy, legislation, administrative structures, operational systems, human resources, and capacity necessary to respond effectively to diverse migration and border management challenges.