Phase III of the PSMM programme conference in Brussels

A half-day conference to mark the Phase III of The European Union programme EU Regional Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management Systems in the Western Balkans (PSMM) was held in Brussels on 27 April 2023 at the level of heads of border police and institutions in charge of asylum and reception from all Western Balkans partners. The conference was opened by Ms. Michela Matuella, Acting Director-General of DG NEAR.

The conference was organized to reinforce partnerships for successful implementation of the current phase of the Regional Programme and to take stock of achievements of the previous programme phases. In line with aims of the Regional Programme, the event contributes to: (a) cooperation between Western Balkan partners and implementing partners towards effective and protection-sensitive migration management in the Western Balkans and (b) further alignment of regional asylum and reception systems and practices with EU acquis, continuing a long-standing thorough and fruitful cooperation on the matter between all involved institutions and other stakeholders.

During the conference, implementing partners and stakeholders: 

  • promoted good practices and lessons learned in specific areas over the past years;
  • acknowledged efforts and highlight concrete achievements;
  • emphasized the need for continued strong cooperation among all relevant institutions and other actors, including regional cooperation.

The event reiterated the commitment of all counterparts to engage in the coming years at policy and technical level, as well as forge and strengthen relationships between partners for the current programme and other bilateral efforts.

It was structured around three consecutive sessions, each focusing on a priority topic addressed by the Regional Programme. These sessions were hosted and moderated by implementing partners and European Commission representatives (DG NEAR and DG HOME).

The conference was followed by the first Phase III meeting of the Regional Steering Committee, the main governance body of the programme.

The PSMM programme is implemented by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in joint partnership and complementing the individual efforts by Western Balkans partners. The programme’s third phase, funded by the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance, was initiated in 2022, with activities starting fully in 2023 and will last until 31 December 2025.

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