The laws governing the areas of state border control, treatment of foreigners and international protection are analysed only in the parts related to treatments at the borders, while the strategic framework analysis is presented only in the part related to regional cooperation in the border management process and the related issues. The institutional framework in the migration management system is also briefly presented.
The review of international and regional documents, mechanisms and bodies represent a very important part of this paper. The emphasis is also placed on the EU relations with the Western Balkan countries, and in particular on the accession process and cooperation with Frontex. Important thematic units are the access to the territory, access to the asylum procedure and return. In the chapters Access to the Territory and Access to the Asylum Procedure, particular attention is paid to the application of the principle of non-refoulement related to illegal entry into the territory, as well as access to the asylum procedure at the border crossings.
Within the chapter Returns, voluntary (including assisted) and forced returns, readmission and informal returns are addressed, and detention of migrants in the return procedure is addressed as a particularly sensitive issue. The final section provides recommendations for further improvement of legislation and treatment, organised by topic areas, covering related national and regional challenges.
BRMC members owe immense gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for supporting the development of this Regional Policy Paper, as well as the entire three year implementation of the project Balkan Refugee and Migration Council – Making a Pathway for a Common Western Balkans Migration Policy.