This project is funded by the European Union
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The project is presented at the ‘Day of Europe’ event in Moldova

On 10 May 2014, the EaP-SIPPAP project was presented to the wider public at the ‘Day of Europe’ event, which is held on a yearly basis in Chisinau, Moldova. The ‘Day of Europe’ is a unique occasion to celebrate common values as well as the richness of Europe's cultural diversity. The ‘European Villages’ set up for this occasion was the centre of the celebration. The stands displayed information regarding ongoing EU-funded projects in a variety of sectors and provided Moldova, EU Member States and candidate countries with the opportunity to share their culture, their cuisine and their language with the public at large. In addition, public discussions on the future of EU-Moldova relations, as well as on the meaning of Europeanisation for Moldova, took place. Additional ad hoc cultural events were held throughout the afternoon, and a concert concluded the celebration.

This year’s celebration was special, given the recently abolished visa requirements for Moldovan citizens travelling to the EU. The local public was especially interested in the migration-related projects being implemented in the country. This event provided an opportunity to present an overview of the project, including its objectives, activities and expected outcomes, to the ultimate beneficiaries of the project, namely travelers and migrants crossing the border.

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Study visit to Latvia

On 15–18 April 2014, a study visit to Latvia took place to introduce the institute of the so-called ‘Plenipotentiary Border Representatives (PBR)’ to eleven practitioners working at the border and at the educational institutions of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova. The study visit started with an event at the State Border Guard College in Rezekne, where the PBR institute in the Baltic States and Eastern Partnership countries was discussed among the participants. Presentations addressed a number of issues: significance of the institute of PBR, cooperation between neighbouring countries through the PRB institute, intergovernmental and interagency agreement on the work of PBR, training of border delegates, solutions to border incidents, steps forward in the development of a PBR institute in the EaP region, and the demarcation of the state border and the role of border delegates in this process.

On the second day, participants visited the Opoļi Border Guard Unit, the Zilupe railway border crossing point (BCP) and the Terehova land BCP. Participants learned about the functions and organisation of the Latvian border crossing points; the use of technical equipment, such as radiometric devices, to control goods at the state border; daily management at the BCP; the briefing and debriefing of staff; and the check of travel documents on the 2nd line.

The third day of the study visit was dedicated to the education and training of border guard staff. Participants visited the State Border Guard College, where they had possibility to learn about the training institution’s educational standards, teaching methodologies, technical equipment and international cooperation. An additional visit was paid to the Aviation Board, where the usage of aviation in border surveillance was presented and discussed.

On the last day, participants had a feedback session on the knowledge acquired. They also discussed the relevance of the practices for their own countries.

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Study visit to Romania

On 25–28 March 2014, a study visit to Romania took place. The visit gathered ten officials, including practitioners working at the border and representatives of the educational institutions of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova.

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Joint/coordinated border patrolling in focus

On 25–27 March 2014, the Workshop on the EU External Green Border took place in Bucharest, Romania. The event gathered operational officers working at the border and representatives of the training institutions from Belarus, Georgia and Moldova, as well as their colleagues from Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic.

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Workshop on green borders for Azerbaijan and Georgia

On 26–28 February 2014 another project activity was held in Baku – a workshop on green borders. The workshop gathered participants from the border guard and border police of Azerbaijan and Georgia, together with representatives of the national training institutions and experts from the Hungarian Ministry of Interior and Polish Border Guard. The main objective of the workshop was to exchange experience on existing practices of cooperation (inter-agency and international) in work and education.

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Project Coordination Meeting evaluates the year and gives guidance for the way ahead

The Second Project Coordination Meeting (PCM) took place in Vienna on 11 February 2014. Representatives of the implementing partners gathered at ICMPD’s headquarters to discuss the project implementation and status quo, updated work plan, educational component, lessons learnt and cooperation modalities with Frontex. During the welcoming remarks, the importance of cooperation between the partners and of the development of the concrete project under the umbrella of the migration dialogue was highlighted.

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Workshops on green and air borders further contribute to cooperation among the Eastern Partnership countries and EU Member States in training border guards and exchanging information

On 27–29 January 2014 two new activities – workshops on green and air borders – took place in Tbilisi. The two workshops gathered representatives from the border guards/police and respective training institutions of Armenia, Georgia and Moldova, together with experts from Latvia and the Slovak Republic. The workshops were unique in that they gathered both practitioners working on the borders and academic representatives involved in preparing qualified staff for the border agencies, once again underlining the interrelationship between the educational and practical components of the project.

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First workshop on air border control took place in Belarus

A workshop on surveillance of air borders took place in Minsk, Belarus, on 10–12 December 2013 and gathered border officers from Azerbaijan, Belarus and Ukraine. It was conducted by international experts from Hungary and the Police Force of the Slovakia.

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Workshop on green border surveillance for Belarus and Ukraine

On 10–12 December 2013, a workshop on green border surveillance took place in Brest, gathering officials from the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, as well as international experts from Latvia and the Slovak Republic. The overall aim of the workshop was to provide a forum for practitioners from both EaP countries and EU Member States working on green border surveillance to exchange their experience of using the existing practices and procedures in their respective countries. In addition, the workshop allowed these practitioners to discuss the topic with teachers of border management.

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First activities of the capacity building component

The implementation phase of the EaP-SIPPAP project started with the first regional workshops on blue and green borders, taking place in Odessa, Ukraine, on 20–22 November 2013. The workshop on blue borders gathered border officers from Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine and was conducted by international experts from the State Border Guard of Latvia and the Romanian Border Police. The workshop on green borders gathered border officers from Moldova and Ukraine and was conducted by international experts from the State Border Guard of Latvia.

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