IOM on migration management in the Baltic States

The Baltic States in the Context of the Dublin Convention and Related Asylum Norms

04.Jan.02 - The Regional office of IOM for Baltic and Nordic States is today releasing a report entitled "The Baltic States in the Context of the Dublin Convention and Related Asylum Norms"

This report addresses an issue central to successful migration management in the European Union Member States as well as in the candidate countries: the provisions of the Dublin Convention and their relevance to national asylum legislation and procedures.

The Dublin Convention has become a central legal instrument that addresses crucial issues such as responsibility for asylum applications and "burden sharing". The Convention, which came into force in September 1997, aims to prevent multiple asylum applications in the EU by requiring asylum applicants to apply for asylum in the first EU country in which they arrive. In this context, "Dublin related" developments in the area of asylum policy and legislation are of special relevance to the candidate countries.

This report focuses specifically on the following areas:
* Determination of State responsibility for asylum applications and international standards.
* The Dublin Convention criteria and mechanisms in Baltic States' law and practices.
* Current preparations in the Baltic States for the implementation of the Dublin Convention.

Accession to the EU has been an issue of the utmost importance to the Baltic States. Besides having fundamental foreign policy implications and re-establishing the position of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the new enlarged Europe, EU accession is also influencing domestic developments in every aspect of life, including Justice and Home Affairs.

IOM technical co-operation in the Baltic States has important implications for their accession to the EU. When they members, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will have to fully adopt EU standards and ensure sufficient administrative capacity for their implementation.

Consequently, IOM assists the Baltic States with a number of projects aimed at institutional strengthening and capacity building in the field of Justice and Home Affairs. Ongoing EU legislative developments are also taken into account in order to ensure that the Baltic States are ready to adopt and implement EU migration-related norms at the time of accession.

IOM technical co-operation activities focus on the following areas:
* Policy, legislation and management aimed at strengthening national legislation and administrative capacity.
* Technical assistance to establish and maintain border controls and management systems; equipment and training. Specific attention is given to the fact that the eastern borders of the Baltic States will, upon EU membership, become the EU's external frontier.
* Establishment of information sharing systems between government entities; provision of equipment and training; enhancing regional co-operation and data-sharing capacity; and relevant targeted research on migration trends.

This book, presented today to the international community, governmental officials and academics in Riga by IOM's Director General Brunson McKinley, was commissioned by IOM and written by Dr. Ryszard Cholewinski of the University of Leicester, England with contributions from a team of experts from Baltic States.

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