On 9th of July, the 5th Steering Group Meeting of MIBMA project took place devoted to the overview of results achieved in the first half and plans for the second half of 2018. Progress was registered on the implementation of the Migration National Action Plan and Integration Action Plan, increasing capacities of border control detachment staff and equipping of Shirak Airport and Bavra Border Crossing Point with new equipment. The initial capacity building steps in preparing for a Visa Liberalisation Dialogue that looks likely to start in the near future. Some challenges were also registered, with support to a Visa Liberalisation Dialogue still largely on hold due to political factors.
Mr. Armen Ghazaryan, Head of the Migration Service, welcomed the participants and thanked MIBMA team for excellent cooperation that he hoped would continue beyond the current project.. He emphasized the support provided by MIBMA in the process of development of all migration policies and singled out the support in jointly drafting a new project proposal on re-integrating returning Armenian migrants that is to be funded by a consortium of EU countries and that will be hosted at the Migration Service.
On cross-border co-operation Mr. Arsen Avetisyan, Project Manager for the UNDP components of the MIBMA project mentioned that the foreseen high-level conference on trade facilitation and border management will likely be held in November 2018. As to upgrading the Meghri BCP, the preliminary design is ready for adoption by the State Revenue Committee (SRC). Progress on improving Integrated Border Management stays as a priority in the remainder of the project.
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.