Тhe 4th Steering Group Meeting of MIBMA project was concentrated around the overview of the activities implemented and results achieved in the second half of 2017, as well as the presentation of proposed changes to the list of activities in line with beneficiaries' requests. It was opened by Mr Borut Erzen, Head of Border Management and Security Programme.
One of the most notable and latest developments was that on 12 September 2017, ICMPD in Armenia was granted diplomatic status by the Government of the Republic of Armenia. The organization commits itself to continuing supporting the Government of Armenia to develop migration policies and contribute toward wider cooperation and mobility in Europe.
Mr Carel Hofstra, Head of representation of ICMPD in Armenia, presented the progress achieved against each activity of the project. He mentioned that in the area of Migration Governance MIBMA project supported the establishment of Analytical Unit within State Migration Service and the adoption of Migration National Action Plan. The feasibility study of Armenian Remittances Unified System (ARUS) and feasibility study on immigrant investor programme were finalized,www.sendmoneyarmenia.am remittances website and electronic library on migration developed and operational. Mr Hofstra substantially presented the new design and layout developed for the construction of a new Accommodation Centre for asylum seekers for 120 persons. He also noted that the MIBMA project, after supporting the refurbishment and equipping of Document Security training room at Border Troops, it will provide further capacity building and material support .
Mrs. Alla Bakunts, Manager of the Democratic Governance Portfolio of co-implementer UNDP mentioned the progress made on getting the preliminary design of Meghri BCP adopted and the ensuing work on the construction tender. On cross-border co-operation she mentioned preparations for a high-level conference on trade facilitation and border management to be held in June 2018. Also, work is ongoing on two pieces of software for use at BCPs, namely a programme to measure processing times and customer satisfaction and another one to establish an e-declaration system for Armenian private persons with a need to declare goods at the border.
The Head of the State Migration Service, Mr. Gagik Yeganyan, specifically mentioned the importance of contribution ICMPD in Armenia has in the field of migration policy development and requested support in carrying out analysis to assess the intellectual potential of highly-skilled RA citizens residing overseas and possibilities of utilizing it in Armenia and study of return flows to Armenia and reintegration problems of returnees.
The Project Steering Group is an external project governance structure, consisting of permanent representatives from EU Delegation, the Government of Armenia and ICMPD as well as invited observers from EU Member States, EU agencies and international organizations.