The Integrated Border Management (IBM) concept calls for cooperation and coordination between all actors involved in border management at the national and international level. By improving communication, information exchange and mutual assistance of and between border authorities, the state border can be managed more effectively and efficiently.
The IBM concept aims at simultaneously enhancing trade facilitation and ensuring a high level of border security.
The IBM concept originated in 2002 as a solution designed to address the management of the external borders of the member states of the European Union, before evolving into a regionally and globally recognised standard in ensuring coordination and cooperation among all relevant authorities involved in border security and trade facilitation. Today, the IBM concept is the foundation for border management in multiple countries in Europe, the Western Balkans, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
The IBM Concept consists of a modular structure broken down into three IBM pillars, six main fields and four spatial tiers of control access.
The Three Pillars of IBM are the three levels of cooperation and coordination that should take place at all times:
1. Intra-service cooperation (within a service or ministry);
2.Inter-agency cooperation (between different ministries or border management agencies);
3. International cooperation (with other countries and international organisations);
While the IBM Concept is based on these principles of cooperation and coordination is it also based on a spatial approach, split into four different areas or tiers where access control measures are applied. This allows a fully-fledged IBM concept to address all forms of border management activities that take place at the physical border zone, as well as either side of it.
The four spatial tiers of access control that IBM focuses on implementing measures are:
- Measures within the country;
- Border control measures conducted in the border region;
- Cooperation with neighbouring countries;
- Measures in third countries.
Based on the three pillar approach of cooperation and coordination, work on establishing and implementing an IBM approach at the national level should take place across six main fields. All of the fields are addressed in some form by the IBM Silk Routes project.
The six fields of IBM are:
1. Legal and regulatory framework: ensuring the legal basis for cooperation and information exchange;
2. Institutional framework: developing or supporting an organisational setting for introducing IBM;
3. Procedures: procedures and processes required for cooperation to take place;
4. Human resources and training: recruitment and educational or training issues;
5. Communication and information exchange: creating a standardised and efficient flow and exchange of information;
6. Infrastructure and equipment: recommending how equipment and facilities can support cooperation and coordination at all levels.