From 5th to 7th September 2012, a Kick-Off Meeting in the Area of the Fight against Illegal Migration took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, under the auspices of the DCAF Border Security Programme. Representatives of the border police forces and other relevant authorities responsible for illegal migration, incl. readmission and return, both from the Western Balkan region as well as EU Member States most affected by the overall problematic, together with representatives of EU JHA agencies (namely Albania,Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,Croatia, Denmark, Europol, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and DCAF) identified the state-of-play and agreed on further steps to be taken within the Programme, based on what they identified as the main elements of a common regional approach required in order to successfully mitigate the issue of irregular migration flows in the Western Balkan region. Tools to improve region-wide operational cooperation were discussed, while the Programme will facilitate regional operational measures (common and coordinated operations, return operations) in the following years.
The fight against illegal migration is one of the main components of the restructured DCAF Border Security Programme, and is also of high priority for the Southeast European region, including the current importance of measures undertaken to reduce the negative consequences of the Visa Liberalisation for the Western Balkans.