Cooperation within the Framework of "Mobility Partnership"
The cooperation within the framework of "Mobility Partnership" is one of the most important directions in Georgia-EU relations.
On May 16, 2007 the European Commission published a communiqué about "Circular migration and mobility partnerships between the European Union and the third Countries", which aims to develop close cooperation on migration issues with the EU partner countries, to manage the flow of migration (registering, monitoring, analyzing, policy-making) and to enhance opportunities for legal movement as well as the effectiveness of fighting against illegal migration.
On June 5-6, 2008 the outset of consultations on mobility issues with Georgia was decided by the European Union at the European Council Summit dedicated to Law and Home Affairs issues. It is notable that the European Union only cooperates with Moldova in the framework of "Mobility Partnership".
The Joint Declaration on Mobility Partnership between Georgia and the 16 EU Member States was signed on November 30, 2009. In the consequent period the Architecture and the Scoreboard of implementation process, as well as, cooperation priorities have been developed that cover specific joint projects, responsible institutions were defined from the EU member states and Georgian side. The Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration is coordinating implementation of the Mobility Partnership from the Georgian side.
On February 16, 2010 the cooperation within the EU initiative "Mobility Partnership" between Georgia and the EU was officially launched during the visit of the European Commission delegation.
The first EU-Georgia Mobility Partnership Cooperation Meeting was held in Brussels on September 15, 2010. As foreseen in the MP Joint Declaration the Local Cooperation Platform was established in Georgia. On January 30, 2012 the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration has organized the first Mobility Partnership Local Cooperation Platform meeting, where participants of the partnership have discussed achieved results and future prospects of cooperation.
The initiative "Mobility Partnership" aims to cooperate on migration issues such as: migration management, labour migration, readmission, reintegration, diaspora, document security, integral migration database and information exchange with the EU, labour market and recognition of professional qualifications.
It is noteworth that cooperation within the initiative "Mobility Partnership" promotes legal employment in the EU countries through so called "circular migration". This framework allows Georgian citizens to work legally, study, get trained, and then return to Georgia. The aforementioned framework aims close cooperation with representatives of Georgian Diaspora.
An important step in this direction was an initiative of France to conclude an Agreement on Circular Migration and Residence of the Professional Workers with Georgia. After two-round negotiations the text on the residence of qualified specialists and circular migration between Georgia and the Republic of France was agreed. The main component of the agreement is legal employment opportunity for Georgian citizens (500 persons) in accordance with demanding professions and quotas in the French labour market. Thus, the agreement aims to grant temporary residence permit to Georgian specialists and students, exchange and improve the qualification of young specialists (150 persons).
Short Information on completed, ongoing and scheduled Mobility Partnership projects
In the course of EU-Georgia cooperation ten projects have been completed and nine are in the active phase of implementation in the framework of the Mobility Partnership.
Annex 17, Block 2
Short Information on completed, ongoing and scheduled Mobility Partnership projects
In the course of EU-Georgia cooperation twelve projects have been completed and six more are in the active phase of implementation in the framework of the Mobility Partnership.
Targeted Initiative Georgia: Support Reintegration of Georgian Returning Migrants and the Implementation of the EU-Georgia Readmission Agreement
Strengthening Georgia’s migration management capacities
Consolidating Reintegration Activities in Georgia
Training on readmission procedures for Georgian officials
Building training and analytical capacities on migration in Moldova and Georgia (GovAc)
Support for the Authorities of Georgia for the Implementation of the Readmission Agreement with the European Union
Supporting the implementation of the EC visa facilitation and readmission agreements in Georgia and Moldova (ReVis)
Seminar on Learning the Greek Language and Greek Culture
Post-arrival assistance to forced returnees from the Netherlands
Free legal advice and psycho-social support
Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals
Promoting Integrity of Civil Data in Georgia
Project: Supporting the establishment of effective readmission management in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia
Date: December 20, 2012- December 19, 2014
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
Implementer: International Organization for Migration
Partner: Public Services Development Agency, Innovations and Reforms Centre, Federal Immigration Service (Belgium), Departure and Repatriation Service of the Ministry of Security and Justice (the Netherlands), Ministry of Interior (Poland)
Donor: European Union
Budget: 1,492,457 EUR
The overall objective of the action is to contribute to the establishment and development of an effective mechanism for the management of readmission in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
This action envisages four specific objectives:
1) To assist in establishing effective case management systems of readmission in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia;
2) To build capacity in Armenia and Azerbaijan for the management of migrant accommodation centres;
3) To assist in building effective institutional mechanisms for reintegration of returned migrants in Armenia and Azerbaijan;
4) To enhance voluntary return management policies in Georgia for readmitted third-country nationals and irregular transit migrants.
Implemented Activities in Georgia:
- The first training seminar on the return of foreign nationals and the nexus to the management of migrant accommodation centres was conducted successfully in June 2013;
- The first study visit on the management of return of aliens and migrant accommodation centres took place to Poland from 30 September to 4 October 2013 (with participation of 4 Georgian government officials);
- The second study visit on the management of return of aliens and migrant accommodation centres took place to the Netherlands and Belgium from 24 to 28 November 2013, with 5 officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in participation;
- IOM entered into a service agreement with a Tbilisi-based software development firm for the purpose of the development of the Consular E-management System, including the finalization and roll-out to EU Member States of the electronic readmission management module. This activity will be fully completed by November 2014.
- Partner organization Innovations and Reforms Centre (IRC) has been sub-contracted to monitor the way the readmission agreement between Georgia and the EU is actually implemented, through collecting information from government bodies and direct contacts with readmitted migrants;
- In 2013, IOM assisted 89 foreigners with humanitarian assistance prior to their voluntary return to their countries of origin.
Planned activities (in Georgia):
- The second training seminar on the return of foreign nationals and the nexus to the management of migrant accommodation centres has been scheduled for 24-25 April 2014;
- A regional conference on the management of readmission for Eastern Partnership countries has been scheduled for October 2014 in Tbilisi;
- Survey on irregular migration in and through Georgia;
- Continuation of programme of Assisted Voluntary Return for foreigners residing in Georgia to facilitate their dignified return to their countries of origin. The expectation is that a total of 150 foreigners will benefit from this programme;
- A project newsletter will be released mid 2014.
Project: Strengthening the development potential of the EU Mobility Partnership in Georgia through targeted circular migration and Diaspora mobilization;
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia;
Implementer: Centre for International Migration and Development (Joint operation of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and German Federal Employment Agency
Partners: Public Service Development Agency (Ministry of Justice of Georgia), Georgian Small & Medium Enterprises Association (GSMEA);
Donor: European Union, contribution of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ);
Budget: EU financing: 878.000 EUR;
BMZ contribution: 219.601,72 EUR ;
Total budget: 1.097.601,72 EUR.
Strengthening Georgia’s capacities to harness the development potential of its Mobility Partnership (MP) to benefit migrants, country of origin and country of destination, thereby identifying guidelines and good practices for replication for other EU MPs.
Specific objectives of the project are:
- Building the capacity of Georgian policy makers, and the State Commission on Migration Issues (SCMI) hosted by the Georgian Ministry of Justice (GMJ), to apply a development-oriented and migrant-centred approach, fostering well-managed knowledge, economic and social transfers of migrants and preventing brain drain;
- Testing a pilot scheme on skilled circular migration that matches Georgia’s and Germany’s needs through offering employment / continued education opportunities in Germany as well as offering reintegration arrangements to 40 Georgian professionals of the nursing and hospitality sector;
- Mobilizing Diaspora for return, employment and start-ups, through encouraging 45 returning experts trained in Germany to return to Georgia, 10 of whom set up small & medium enterprises;
- Identifying best-practices and guidelines for replication of the action.
Implemented actions so far:
- Expert advice to the Secretariat of the State Commission on Migration Issues
- Support of the development of the pilot circular migration scheme and related implementation strategy
- Support of regional exchange and exploration of cooperation opportunities on labour migration management in relation to EU Mobility Partnerships
- Bi- and multilateral exchange with Georgian / international / regional governmental and non-governmental stakeholders
- Competence & matching analysis in the respective tourism and nursing sectors has been made by local and international consultants, focusing on determining labor market needs in Georgia and Germany, matching of Georgians’ educational level with German employers’ demand and identifying corresponding preparatory training needs (language, professional skills, intercultural orientation), identifying labor market reintegration opportunities upon return: matching of returnee’s enhanced qualification profiles with Georgian labor market opportunities and corresponding training needs and opportunities while abroad.
- Preparation of the selection of candidates for the circular migration scheme
- Diaspora Mobilization:
Information and job placement on individual level
13 returning migrants mediated into positions relevant to German development cooperation
Provision of salary top-up
Workplace equipment provided in 3 cases
Networking event conducted in Tbilisi
2 start-up seminars for 20 participants in total organized in Germany (September, November 2013) & individual counselling for founders (4 persons being counselled at the moment)
Information provided via websites
Project: Personalized Assistance for Georgian Migrants (G-PAM)
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
Implementer: Civil Development Agency (CiDA)
Partner: Public Service Development Agency of the Ministry of Justice(PSDA), The Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues,The Office of the State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Computer literacy Foundation,Alliance “Goodwill Mission-Missionaries”, Gori Information Center, Kutaisi Education Development and Employment Center, Association “Atinati”, Institute of Democracy, „I will Return“.
Donor: European Union
Main Objectives: Georgia’s assistance in all areas of migration.
1) Promote well-managed legal migration from Georgia to Turkey and Greece;
2) promote the rights of Georgian migrants;
3) Optimize the positive effects of migration on Georgian development.
- Was created information network in Greece, Turkey, and 5 municipal centers and 50 villages of Georgia (see the list of centers here : http://www.migrant.ge/geo/contact/head/);
- In November, 2013 were conducted trainings of village consultants in 5 regions of Georgia, within the frames of the training consultants received information needed on how the centers should act in villages. They were provided with desks, and information leaflets describing information regarding the project;
- Was created call Skype hotline with the following address: migrant_ge( Georgia) migrant-tr (Turkey) and migrant_gr (Greece).
- At this stage over 50 consultations were provided, 20 of them were on legal issues.
- On the project web page WWW.MIGRANT.GE was added Legislation/Procedures field, where is uploaded legislation regarding migration issues and questions asked by beneficiaries, in question/answer mode.
- The project lawyer, international, regional partners and village consultants daily provide assistance to beneficiaries regarding different issues, legal, individual and group consultations among them.
- Within the frames of the project was opened the web page www.migrant.ge providing different types of information: project news, data base of professional training centers, vacancies posted in Turkey and Greece, question- answer field provides competent legal consultations.
- Operates facebook page https://www.facebook.com/migrant.ge.
- Is created working group for village consultants and project emigrant partners.
- On July 19, 2013 was conducted the meeting of Georgian migrants with the state commission on migration issues. The meeting was held in the House of Justice, Tbilisi within the frames of the first national dialogue.
- Project newsletter. Was prepared the first issue of the newsletter covering different aspects of migration aspects.
- Baseline. The goal of the research was review migration issues in 5 municipal centers and villages of Georgia and identify project basic indicators.
The research was conducted in G-PAM beneficiary 5 municipal centers and 50 villages and in non beneficiary 50 villages.
Totally 4096 respondents participated in the research.
- Conduct information- consultation activities in Greece, Turkey and Georgia target regions;
- Operate www.migrant.ge;
- Organize information campaign “Woman and Migration” (conference, media tour, showing documentary in Tbilisi and regions, prepare/distribute video clips and information);
- Initiating a “National Dialogue on Migration”;
- Development and delivery of “First Steps” soft-skills training in regions of Georgia, Greece and Turkey;
- Support legal employment, - through informing migrants about job opportunities in Turkey and Greece;
- Informing migrants and potential migrants about professional trainings and reintegration;
- Issuing issue based newsletter in migration field;
- Assisting migrants’ investment process in small and medium businesses of Georgia.
Project: Enhancing the Role of Georgian Emigrants at Home (ERGEM)
Date: April 2013 – October 2014
Location: Georgia, Turkey, Poland
Implementer: Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
Partners: International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), State Minister of Georgia on Diaspora Issues, State Commission on Migration Issues, Ministry of IDPs from Occupied Territories, Accommodation, and Refugees of Georgia
Donor: European Union
Budget: 1,098,533 EUR
Main objective: To Contribute to strengthen ties between Georgians abroad and Georgian institutions in order to increase diaspora contributions to Georgia’s economic development.
- To improve the institutional knowledge about the interests, necessities, remittances and investment potential of Georgian emigrants and Diaspora societies.
- To raise the delivery of information, support and level of services for Georgian emigrant communities abroad by Georgian public agencies.
- To develop a model of structured knowledge transfer and exchange experiences between the qualified representatives of Diaspora and Georgian business sectors. Additionally, piloting the economic assistance program for returned migrants.
- The desk research was prepared to profile Georgian diaspora organisations in Turkey, Poland, and Greece.
- Fact-finding missions were organised to Istanbul, Berlin, and Athens. Project implementers and partner public agencies met with diaspora organisations, individual emigrants, and local human rights groups. Problems of diaspora communities and their needs with regard to cooperation with Georgian public agencies were examined through the use of questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups.
- Two regional workshops for West and East Georgia were implemented to define cooperation priorities with Georgian diaspora businesses abroad. Representatives of regional authorities, academia, and international and local organisations selected most important fields of regional economic development.
- These priorities guided the business support initiative. The grant competition in the regions of Georgia was announced for newly returned migrants. Large-scale regional-level information campaign was implemented in support of the activity.
- Two meetings of the Project Coordination Group was held to monitor the project development process.
- The role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, and the Ministry of Sustainable Economic Development of Georgia was heightened in the course of the project implementation.
- Two study visits to Poland and Portugal will be organised for the partner public agencies. They will get information about organisation, practical activities, and legal provisions on diaspora relations in the selected countries.
- Consultancy meetings of the focal Georgian institutions and diaspora organisations will take place in Istanbul, Berlin, and Athens to address diaspora needs and interests.
- Winners of the migrant business competition will be awarded and the procurement, along with monitoring, will begin.
- Workshops between diaspora businessmen and key
- · regional businesses will be organised
- · in Georgia to help them share know-how, and establish new partnerships.
- In parallel, thematic meetings with public agencies will be organised for invited diaspora institutions.
- The project will be concluded by the final conference in late October to assess the result of the project and define goals of future development.
Project: Promoting well managed migration between the EU and Georgia
Implementer: Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD)
Donor: European Union
Budget: 644000 EUR
Main Objective: Promoting well managed migration between the EU and Georgia.
- Migration and development;
- Promoting migration legislation and policy development;
- Fighting against illegal migration and trafficking;
- Protection of migrants’ rights.
The project is being implemented in Tbilisi and ten regions of Georgia– Guria, Imereti, KvemoKartli, Kakheti, Mtskheta-Tianeti, Racha-Lechkhumi, Samegrelo, ZemoSvaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, ShidaKartli, Achara.
Aim 1. Migration and development -“brain drain“transformation to “brain gain”
- Study needs on work force in the regions of Georgia;
- To contact members of the Diaspora;
- To organize visits for members of the Diaspora in Georgia;
- Training sessions of instructors in various fields.
2013 activities' outcomes:
- Project team's visits to Germany and Spain
- Training of trainers in Corporate Branding for Small and medium Businesses by georgia Diaspora representative from Germany
- regional trainings in Corporate Branding - 42 participants: 30 women, 12 men
- 6 workshops in 6 regional cities: Telavi, Gori, Akhaltsikhe, Kutaisi, Batumi, Ozurgeti - 240 participants: 50 men and 190 women
Aim 2. Promoting migration legislation and policy development
- Analyze migration legislation and policy;
- Three case studies;
- Research of circular migration
2013 activities' outcomes:
- 6 publications:
- Georgia and Migration: legislation analysis
- Georgia and Migration: policy analysis
- Developing circular migration schemes between the EU and Georgia
- Case study report 1. Social Security Agreements of legally employed – current practices, opportunities and perspectives for Georgia
- Case study report 2. Migration and Development – Increasing the Role of Migrants in Country’s Development
- Case study report 3. Work Permits and Labour Inspection
- 2 round table discussions with decision makers
Aim 3. Fighting against illegal migration and trafficking
- Information brochures:
a) Capabilities of legal migration
b) Risks of illegal migration
c) How to avoid the trafficking cases
- Potential building campaign- auto-tours, public discussions, media-campaign
2013 activities' outcomes:
- 6200 brochures on illegal migration risks, opportunities of legal migration to the EU and trafficking
- 1 TV/radio social ad on legal migration opportunities
- 8 bus tours - 500 attendees: 252 men and 248 women
Aim4. Protection of migrant’s rights;
- Legal aid for returned/readmitted migrants,
- legal consultations for migrants.
2013 activities' outcomes:
- 131 legal consultations provided in Tbilisi and GYLA's regional offices
- 890 legal consultations provided during 8 bus tours in regions
Project: Asylum System Quality Initiative in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus
Date: 2013–2014 (24 months)
Location: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine
Implementer: United Nations High Commission for Refugees
Donor: Multi-donor action
Budget: 2 503404 EUR
Main objective: To promote asylum and international protection of refugees in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus.
To improve, through a regional approach, the quality of decision-making on determination of refugee status.
Main Activities: Three types of activities will take place:
- Introduction of Quality Assurance Mechanisms in national asylum bodies;
- Capacity-building through trainings (incl. of trainers), provision of training resources, and expert exchanges;
- Provision of country-of-origin information in Russian language through a database
Relevance of the Action
Over the past twenty years, Eastern European countries have made considerable progress in the protection of refugees. They have acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention, adopted national asylum legislation and established systems for accepting and adjudicating asylum applications, guided, inter alia by the early regional dialogue processes following the 1996 Conference on Refugees and Displacement in the CIS. The target countries have also committed to further improvement of their asylum systems through engagement in various European processes, including the Prague Process and the newly-formed Panel on Asylum and Migration under the Eastern Partnership (formerly the “Soderkoping Process”). As Council of Europe countries (with the exception of Belarus), they find their asylum practices under scrutiny by the European Court of Human Rights. In general, Eastern European countries have signalled an intention to further harmonize their own laws and practices related to asylum with European and international standards.
In response to these gaps, UNHCR plans to launch this “Quality Initiative” project for Eastern Europe and South Caucasus, based on the practice-tested achievements of a similar initiative in Central and Southern Europe. UNHCR has developed best practice models as a result of its collaboration with the EU in this earlier project. These include checklists, notes and training modules that were the result of extensive work between UNHCR and legal experts in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia. UNHCR will make full use of this expertise.
The regional approach is vital for three reasons. First, it increases efficiency, as materials and trainings can be translated into one language—Russian—for use in a broad region. (Note that these materials may also benefit the Central Asian countries, which are outside the scope of the current application.) Second, dynamic exchanges on asylum in the region will establish a regional corps of asylum professionals with interest in improving the quality of decision-making. Third, the regional component will encourage transfer of experience relevant to this initiative from EU Member States to the Eastern European beneficiary countries.
Description of the action
Pillar I. Quality Assurance
Quality assurance mechanisms involve an evidence-based, systematic and measurable approach to evaluating the quality of decision-making related to asylum, and then targeted actions to address the identified gaps. At the start of the quality assurance process, a comprehensive self-auditing process of refugee decision making in each participating country will help establish consensus with national asylum authorities on the existing gaps, as well as measures to be taken to enhance quality. The subsequent implementation phase aims to address the identified gaps through specifically consented upon quality assurance measures, and a number of targeted actions to address the priority challenges will be agreed and implemented. The methodological approach will be adapted to the context of the individual country, as agreed upon with the national authorities, and will employ a variety of tools, including: process-mapping, flowcharts, use of quality checklists, systematic sampling and audit of cases, informal and formal meetings, regular on-the-job coaching and advice, case conferences, observation of asylum interviews, joint evaluations, drafting internal guidelines/instructions, professional development meetings, targeted training, mentoring, technical exchange, and regional meetings on topics of common concern. The aim of these activities is to improve the quality, fairness and efficiency of asylum decision-making at both first and second instances, and to establish operational Quality Assurance Units with qualified evaluators in the involved States, so that an in-house quality assurance capacity is generated, sustaining the long-term impact of this action. These quality assurance mechanisms and associated training efforts will address both administrative and, where appropriate, judicial decision-makers in the asylum procedure.
Close cooperation with EU project partners shall be a feature of this pillar, as participating states will receive support from suitable EU project partners, which will strengthen the above measures through transfer of best practices. The following partner countries are engaged in the project: Sweden, Germany, Poland and Romania.
Pillar II. Asylum Capacity Building
The countries in the region are only at the beginning of their efforts to establish systematic training for staff involved in asylum adjudication. Rather than establishing a new curriculum and training programme, several countries in the region have expressed an interest in utilizing the European Asylum Curriculum (EAC), a training program for the asylum process in Europe that was developed by EU member states and is a key step toward the establishment of the Common European Asylum System (see www.asylum-curriculum.eu) The EAC has become an important resource for improving quality in asylum training in a cost-efficient manner: It combines a web-based format with face-to-face seminars with certified trainers, and the substance and methodology are carefully reviewed by panels of refugee law and training experts. Under this pillar, selected modules of the EAC will be translated into Russian and shared with the asylum authorities in the participating countries. With their agreement, certified training of trainers will be conducted in cooperation with the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). In turn, these trainers will train asylum officials throughout the region on the EAC. In some cases, EAC-certified trainers from different countries may work together in delivering trainings in the region, so as to encourage exchange of best practices and support smaller asylum authorities. EAC training will be complemented by other targeted expert exchanges in Russian, for example with specific target groups (e.g. judges, prosecutors), on topics of regional concern (e.g., extradition and asylum in the context of the Minsk Convention and ECHR), or responding to specific needs (e.g., short induction programmes for newly-recruited eligibility officers).
Pillar III. Country-of-Origin Information in Russian
Currently country-of-origin information in Russian is gathered by multiple actors and hosted on a variety of websites with insufficient user interfaces (e.g. no search functions). Therefore, decision-makers cannot conduct their research efficiently and thoroughly. This Action will establish Refworld in Russian – an authoritative database owned by UNHCR to provide information in Russian. The website’s interface will be translated to Russian and the database made searchable. Procedures will be established for identification, translation and upload of key documents. Decision-makers in the region will be trained on the use of the new database. To economize on costs, the database will be managed by a UNHCR office in the region, rather than at UNHCR’s headquarters in Geneva. UNHCR will ensure continued existence of the database after the end of the action.