EU and IOM help Ukraine to implement visa liberalization action plan

21 March 2013

The EU and International Organization for Migration (IOM) will enhance migration management in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. With a ?2.4 million total budget, the MIGRECO project (Strengthening Migration Management and Cooperation on Readmission in Eastern Europe) supports Ukraine to carry out the visa liberalization action plan with the EU in the next two years.

?IOM continues assisting the Ukrainian Government to develop a comprehensive migration management system in line with EU best practices, which will support Ukraine?s efforts in progressing in the visa-free dialogue with the EU,? states IOM Ukraine?s Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.

Key project partners in Ukraine are the State Migration Service, the State Border Guard Service, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social Policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ombudsman?s Office.

Through MIGRECO, the EU and IOM are aiding the Ukrainian migration authorities in transferring newly adopted legislative and administrative reforms related to the visa liberalization action plan from paper to practice, which is a prerequisite for visa free travel for citizens of Ukraine to the EU.

This will be achieved in part through an assessment of gaps in migration management and the embedding of an EU migration expert at the State Migration Service, which will guide the introduction of institutional solutions for planning, funding, and staffing necessary to carry out Ukraine?s state migration policy, and address the division of roles and responsibilities between government actors.

The MIGRECO project will help victims of trafficking by activating the national referral mechanism, which brings together the government and civil society to jointly identify victims, refer them for assistance, protect their rights, and ensure their access to justice. It will train officials of the Ministry of the Interior, prosecutors and judges on the prosecution of hate crimes, and advise migration authorities on document security, including biometrics.

The project will also strengthen partnerships between Ukrainian migration authorities and civil society to promote open, inclusive dialogue on migration and jointly tackle migration issues. The key non-governmental partner of MIGRECO in Ukraine is ?Europe without Barriers?, an organization that advocates for the abolition of administrative barriers to people-to-people contacts in Europe.