The Silk Routes refers to the broad geographic region that was historically covered by the Silk Road trading networks, which facilitated the transfer of goods, knowledge and people between the most Eastern parts of Asia and Europe.
Today, the countries of the region are subjected to a range of threats and pressures, such as internal and regional instability, security challenges and natural disasters, growing refugee populations and increasingly dynamic mixed migration flows within and beyond the region. In parallel, developing global economic trends, cross-border trade and modernization present multiple opportunities for the countries of the region to enhance their prosperity and strengthen their economic and social development.
Well-functioning and efficient borders are the foundation that supports regional mobility and development. The success or failure of multiple processes is dependent on well-governed borders; whether it be the transit of cargo containers of rice, business travellers meeting their associates, tourism or farming communities that must cross a national boundary as part of daily or seasonal work patterns.
Optimal prosperity can only be achieved in an environment where the safe and orderly movement of people and goods across borders is guaranteed. Effective border governance plays a key role in national efforts to prevent the smuggling of counterfeit and prohibited goods, combatting organised crime and corruption, and guaranteeing the safety of travellers, migrants and refugees. Interception of smuggling and trafficking networks at the borders is necessary to safeguard the rule of law, but it also contributes to ensuring legitimate businesses face a level playing field in domestic markets, and that the necessary duties and taxes are collected by the state. Optimised procedures, well trained staff and well-planned infrastructure contribute to both safety and mobility.
As such, the Integrated Border Management (IBM) concept seeks to promote trade, mobility and stability through development of a single, comprehensive border governance framework that ensures coordination between all relevant border agencies and stakeholders across all areas of border management.
The EU-funded Integrated Border Management in the Silk Routes Countries builds on ICMPD’s historic engagement with partners in the Silk Routes region, and the foundation laid by the EU-funded Improving Migration Management in Silk Routes Countries. The IBM Silk Routes project seeks to support the countries in the region to build more effective and efficient border management systems, and in doing so strengthen the capacity of state authorities to combat irregular migration, encourage safe migration, and enhance trade and prosperity across borders.