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Budapest Process Secretariat
Address: Gonzagagasse 1, 5th Floor, 1010 Vienna
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Phone: +43 1 504 4677 2331
Fax: +43 1 504 4677 – 2375

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About the Budapest Process

The Budapest Process is a consultative forum of more than 50 governments and 10 international organisations exchanging information and best practices on a wide range of migration issues. It is one of the longest standing cooperation framework on migration for Europe and its eastern neighbours and provides an informal and flexible framework for states and other stakeholders to meet on an equal footing and address issues of common concern.

On 19 April 2013, marking the Process’s 20th anniversary, the Turkish Chair invited to the 5th Budapest Process Ministerial Conference where the Istanbul Ministerial Declaration on "A Silk Routes Partnership for Migration" was adopted. Read more


Istanbul, 27-28 November 2017 – A first preparatory meeting brought together over seventy-five senior officials from 36 countries and 7 international and regional organisations to discuss the Call for Action on large movements of refugees and migrants which is to be adopted at a Ministerial Conference in October 2018.

The Call for Action proposed by Turkey – Chair of the Budapest Process – focuses on a set of overarching commitments and priority goals that are deriving from the Silk Routes Partnership for Migration. It follows the logic of the migration flows and starts with priority goals furthering pathways for legal migration and improving the conditions in countries of origin. It moves on to priority goals managing on-going migratory movements and the last block handles the aftermath and consequences of large movements. Over one and a half days countries engaged in constructive and vivid discussions on the draft text which will be updated and further discussion in March 2018.

The Call for Action intends to strengthen the Silk Routes Partnership for Migration and make it more functional with regard to large movements of refugees and migrants. Prior to November senior officials meeting two consultations have been already held regarding the Ministerial Conference: a Consultation Meeting for all participating countries and international organisations in March 2017 in Istanbul and a drafting meeting in September 2017 in Ankara, which gathered the Silk Routes countries as well as the donors to the Budapest Process. 

The preparatory process in 2018 will include three preparatory meetings – in March, June and October, and an expert level consultation meeting in September. Exact dates and location of the above events will be announced by the Secretariat of the Budapest Process in due course.

20-21 September, Ankara – Over thirty senior officials from representatives of the Silk Routes countries and the donor countries of the Budapest Process/Silk Routes Partnership for Migration as well as the European Commission met these days in Ankara, upon the invitation of Turkey as a Chair of the Budapest Process.

Following the Consultation Meeting held on 2 March in Istanbul, Turkey proposed to hold the 6th Budapest Process Ministerial Conference in October 2018 and to work towards a Call for Action on large movements of migrants and refugees under the Silk Routes Partnership for Migration.

Migration has crystallised as one of the most important issues humanity has to deal with. It is clear that it can only be dealt with in partnership and cooperation between countries. Following the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants the international community is joining forces to develop the Global Compacts - one for refugees and one for safe, orderly and regular migration with the hope that these documents will provide necessary guidelines to the international community.

Now also the Budapest Process region - the Silk Routes Region - stands ready to take onthe challenge and work towards an even more functional Silk Routes Partnership for Migration – with a view to improve the management of and cooperation on migration and both contribute to and take inspiration from the international discussions.

The drafting meeting was used to discuss and identify priorities in order to firstly, increase the capacity to deal with large flows and secondly, to narrow down priorities for the future.

The meeting was convened back-to-back with the Launching Conference of the project “Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Countries” – 21-22 September 2017 – that brought together over fifty representatives from over twenty countries. The project was officially launched on 1 August and will be running over four years. It aims at maximising the development potential of migration and mobility within the Silk Routes region and towards major labour receiving countries. It also aims to establish comprehensive regional responses to migration and mobility with full respect of human rights and protection of migrants.

16 May, Istanbul, Turkey – Fifteen employees, including three women, from different departments of the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan successfully completed a ten day Training of Trainers (ToT) course on migration in the framework of the Silk Routes Partnership project.

The course envisaged several specifically developed training modules on legal migration, trafficking in human beings, irregular migration, migrant smuggling, border management, forced migration and the international and European framework on international protection. The intense training programme on 6-16 May delivered by experts from Argentina, Austria, Germany, Ireland and the UK also aimed at equipping the selected trainers with teaching and communication techniques for adult training. Distributed training manuals on each migration module included facilitating material that can be used by future trainers to conduct their own trainings within the respective ministries.

Ms. Sedef Dearing, Regional Coordinator – Silk Routes of ICMPD, stated that “Obtained knowledge and training skills on migration will support the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations to develop its own training programmes for its staff”.  She added that in the future ICMPD would continue to provide assistance to Afghanistan in the area of migration, in particular as regards policy development and capacity building.

The project aims at contributing to the concrete implementation of the Silk Routes Partnership for Migration under the Budapest Process by strengthening the migration management capacities of the Silk Routes countries Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

24 May, Erbil, Iraq – Today, the Silk Routes Partnership project team handed over the certificates to 22 trainers marking the successful completion of a ten day Training of Trainers (ToT) course on migration. The trainees came from the Ministry of Migration and Displacement and the Ministry of Interior of the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

The training aimed at equipping the selected trainers with the necessary tools for conveying concepts of legal migration, trafficking in human beings, irregular migration, migrant smuggling, border management, forced migration and the international and European framework on international protection as well as teaching and communication techniques. In conclusion of the two week course, the newly inducted trainers prepared their own module on the Iraqi legal and institutional framework related to international protection.

During this two week course, experts from Argentina, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Slovakia, Serbia and the United Kingdom shared their respective areas of expertise with the Iraqi counterparts. Furthermore training manuals on each migration module were prepared and distributed to all participants, with facilitating material on each topic as well as various exercises and training techniques. With this manual, the newly inducted trainers will have the resources at hand to conduct their own trainings within their ministries and departments. 

The overall objective of the Silk Routes Partnership project is to strengthen the migration management capacities of the Silk Routes countries Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan both at a national and – together with Bangladesh and Iran - also at a regional level.

Antalya, 15 December – As the monitoring and steering body of the Budapest Process, the annual Senior Officials Meeting reported on the activities in 2016, including the meetings of the Silk Routes Working Group and the Silk Routes Partnership Project and presented a five-year proposal for the 2017 - 2021 cooperation framework.

Hosted by Turkey, the meeting gathered over 45 representatives from 23 participating states and several international and regional organisations.  The meeting included discussions on operational, thematic and structural priorities for the Budapest Process as of 2017. Considering the high importance given to the Process by its participating countries, the discussions touched upon short-term needs and long-term objectives and at the same time financial sustainability during the next funding period 2017 - 2021.

The Budapest Process is one of the longest-standing cooperation frameworks on migration for Europe and its eastern neighbours and during its more than 20 years of operation, it has developed from an information sharing tool between European countries in a pre-EU enlargement setting to a far reaching Europe-Asia forum for improving migration management.

Antalya, 12-13 December – Twenty-four officials from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey, together with experts from ICMPD and Frontex met in Antalya, Turkey to continue elaborating the establishment of a regional law enforcement cooperation network.

The fruitful work of law enforcement practitioners from the region, together with legal officers and experts resulted in a first draft of a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The future MoU will allow law enforcement entities of the Silk Routes countries and Turkey to exchange information through a focal point network with special focus on prevention, detection and fighting migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings and enhanced border management.

The proposed framework envisages regular data exchange and a regional early warning system. The delegates agreed to convene the next round of consultations on 6 – 7 March 2017 in Tehran, upon the kind invitation from the Islamic Republic of Iran to continue elaborating the MoU.

This event is a follow up to a series of consultation meetings held in Pakistan, Poland and Turkey in 2015-2016, and part of the Budapest Process’ long-term efforts aimed at enhancing regional law enforcement co-operation. The overall objective of the Silk Routes Partnership project is to strengthen the migration management capacities of the Silk Routes countries Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan both at national and –together with Bangladesh and Iran- also at regional level. 

12 January 2016

We are happy to inform you that ICMPD has recently published a new study on the role of Regional Migration Dialogues for migration governance with a particular focus on the migration-development nexus. The study, which was commissioned by the Turkish Chair of the Budapest Process, discusses the function of the regional migration dialogues in multilateral migration policy making and identifies the growing relevance of the (global) debate on migration and development for them. Focusing on dialogues involving EU Member States and non – EU countries, the study is based on interviews with stakeholders and participants from the following selected migration dialogues: the Budapest Process, the Prague Process, Euromed Migration III, the MTM Dialogue and the Rabat Process. The link between regional migration dialogues and the global debate on migration and development is  perceived differently. Whilst for some regional dialogues the debate at the global level could act as catalyst, for others, migration dialogues are mainly anchored in regional migration systems and should focus on regional particularities. An increasing trend of focusing on migration and development issues is visible among all regional dialogues even though the starting point for many was irregular migration. The informality of the regional dialogue setting appears as a distinctive factor for successful exchanges and cooperation in all areas of migration governance. 

 The study is available for download in PDF format:

Download this file (Regional Migration Dialogues.pdf)RMD Study1048 kB

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”.

 28 May 2016

At a time when refugee movements take place at an increasing pace, it was crucial for Budapest Process countries to meet and discuss challenges in the identification of persons in need of international protection, provision of adequate reception conditions for asylum seekers and offering refugees durable solutions through a joint approach. The 8th Silk Routes Region Working Group Meeting and the final regional training of the Silk Routes Partnership Project provided the first opportunity for countries of origin, transit and destination along the Silk Routes to meet in the light of the 2015 events. The meetings were hosted by the Islamic Republic of Iran on 15 – 19 May 2016 at the premises of the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) in Tehran.


5th Regional Training on International Protection – 15-17 May 2016

This regional training examined the applicable international standards for the protection for refugees; provided an in-depth introduction to migration and refugee law and practices and focused specifically on the respective regimes in force in the Silk Routes countries and in the European Union (EU). Participants exchanged information and experiences with their partners from the same region, but also discussed particular issues with external experts from the EU as well as the UNHCR office in Tehran, who led the training. The officials from the Silk Routes countries evaluated the training as extremely useful to facilitate regional experience exchange and to ensure better cooperation in the field of international protection of refugees.

8th Silk Routes Region Working Group Meeting – 18-19 May 2016

Iran has been generously hosting a large refugee population for the last decades. Therefore, both the topic as well as the location triggered a wide response and interest among Budapest Process participants. As a result, the working group meeting brought together delegations from 30 countries and 9 organisations/ institutions from all over Europe and Asia.

During the two-day meeting, participants discussed solidarity among countries in addressing protracted refugee situations as well as strengthening protection systems through international cooperation. Once again the Budapest Process was emphasised as a unique forum bringing together countries of origin, transit and destination along the Silk Route around one table.

Among the biggest challenges participating countries identified the lack of sufficient protection space for refugees, provision of durable solutions and addressing the root causes of forced migration. Another challenge identified by participating countries was secondary movements and the issue of harmonising protection systems to avoid such developments. Overall, participants agreed that international protection needs to be addressed at the global level and that countries need to share the responsibility in offering support to those in need of protection. Several participants also underlined that a credible and generous asylum system needs to encompass a functioning return system for those who are not in need of protection and who do not have the legal right to remain in the country of destination.

20 April 2016

In collaboration with ILO, the Silk Routes Partnership project established - as one main pilot initiative - two Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) in Islamabad and Lahore. The centres provide information and capacity building to potential migrants in Pakistan on rights, legal practices, jobs and protection possibilities abroad as well as on the dangers and consequences of irregular migration.

For this purpose, the MRC staff develops information material for awareness raising and mass distribution. An official website for the MRC is also under development ( Staff at both locations also started outreach activities to schools, colleges, technical vocational and training institutes in order to raise awareness amongst the general public, especially the youth, on the MRCs and its functions. The MRC staff in Islamabad also visits the Protectorate of Emigrants office in Rawalpindi weekly for pre-departure orientation lectures.

The official inauguration of the Islamabad MRC was held on 12 April 2016. The Federal Secretary of the MOPHRD officially inaugurated the event. The event was also attended by the ambassadors of the EU Delegation and Hungary, government stakeholders, international organisations, civil society, media and university students. An introductory promotional video on the MRC was produced to introduce the MRCs and their service.