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Final Conference celebrates the achievements of 2-year project

On 25 March 2015, representatives of all six Eastern Partnership countries, project implementing partners, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, IOM, Frontex, GUAM and the Prague Process gathered in Tbilisi for the Final Conference. As underlined by General Istvan Samu, Project Coordinator and Chair of the event, the Conference did not aim to close the project, but rather provide an opportunity to jointly celebrate the achievements of the project and introduce activities to take place during the no-cost project extension period. The Chair also underlined that is it important to discuss the project in the wider context of cooperation and to evaluate project results and planned future activities from this angle.

 

In his welcoming speech, Mr Boris Iarochevitch, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, highlighted that this conference fits into the overall ongoing dialogue with the countries of the Eastern Partnership region, and especially welcomed the results of the project, considering that migration, irregular migration and mobility are key topics for the EU. Following the welcoming speeches, an overview of the results was presented by the project team from the Ministry of Interior of Hungary and ICMPD. Special attention was given to the signature of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation among the training institutions, which took place on 24 March and laid down the legal framework for future cooperation among the training institutions in the Eastern Partnership region and several EU Member States.

The MoU is also important in the light of further project activities, as its provisions are a foundation for the Intensive Advanced Learning Experiential Programme on IBM, designed as an additional activity for the three-month no-cost project extension. The Programme is a cross-cutting activity for both operational and educational modules and aims to increase the results of each of the three project components. At the same time, it will ensure the piloting of the MoU. The unique methodology of the Programme was chosen bearing in mind mobility of delegates, various modalities of exchange of practical experience, as well as the mutual interest to hold joint events for the EU and EaP countries. Thus, this 10-day session will offer 12 EaP representatives individual thematic programmes in the EU Member States under the supervision of EU experts. Moreover, jointly with their supervisors, these representatives will develop recommendations on how this gained experience could be utilised in the EaP national context. As a result of the activity, EaP country portfolios containing lessons learnt, findings and thematic recommendations developed by the EaP countries on operational and educational levels shall be prepared. In addition, based on the recommendations, academic-level representatives will draft a cooperation plan for 2015 to support further implementation of the concluded MoU.

It should be underlined that all delegations very positively evaluated the achievements of the project, the innovative methodology to interlink operational and educational modules, as well as the sustainability of the project results. Both EaP and EU countries, with great enthusiasm, welcomed further activities in the project and confirmed their commitment to continue cooperation in future initiatives.

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