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9th Budapest Process Working Group Meeting on the Silk Routes Region

Belgrade, 19 October - Finding long-term solutions for further dialogue and cooperation in the field of integration of migrants and reintegration of returnees is the goal of the working group meeting in the capital of the Republic of Serbia today.

Hosted by the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, the two-day event taking place 18 -19 October brings together over 80 senior experts from thirty Budapest Process participating countries from Europe and Asia and organisations to discuss challenges and issues related to integration and reintegration. The Working Group meeting aims at defining long-term approaches in migration management, addressing challenges, sharing good practices, as well as studying negative effects/outcomes of non-existence of integration and reintegration policies. Senior experts, particularly Silk Routes countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan – discuss the latest trends of integration and reintegration policies and address the need of common Budapest Process standards in the fields of integration of migrants and reintegration of returning migrants.

State Secretary of the Serbian Interior Ministry Jana Ljubičić said that integration of migrants and reintegration of returnees are important and rather topical issues which require more attention and should be more often on the agendas of the international meetings dedicated to migration, since the countries along the Western Balkan route have primarily dealt with suppression of irregular migration, transit migration flows, asylum procedures, emergency accommodation and humanitarian care. “Migration has almost never been a national problem only, but has always required intensive and effective cross-border and international co-operation and Serbia stands ready to be part of the solution of the common problem” she added. Integration helps to ensure and maintain cohesion in the society and a peaceful social coexistence of different groups. The costs of non-integration are considered higher than investment in integration. In practice this means that societies have to make their mainstream institutions fit to “migration” and accommodate the needs of migrants into the work of their central institutions, such as schools, health care, vocational training, sports, etc. in order to avoid social exclusion and evolving “parallel societies”.