Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, hosted the final meeting of the Eastern Partnership Integrated Border Management (EaP IBM) Capacity Building Project. Over the last four years, it expanded the ability of the border agencies of the six Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - to effectively implement the Integrated Border Management concept. The goal of Integrated Border Management is to guarantee internal security and facilitate legitimate movement of people and goods across borders. The EaP IBM project aimed at ensuring effective control of the external borders by addressing migratory challenges and combating cross-border crime by enhancing the collaboration at national, cross-border and international levels. As part of the project, more than 600 border guards and 600 customs officials have been trained by Frontex. Topics covered at more than 80 courses included document checks, interview techniques, screening and identification of nationalities, combatting trafficking in human beings and fundamental rights. “Our efforts have benefitted every-day passengers, as well as people in need of protection. This project was an exemplary case of cooperation between authorities in the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries, and also between border guard and customs services. It shows how much can be achieved when we work together across the EU borders,” said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri. “I am particularly proud that the project established a training system on Integrated Border Management in the six Eastern Partnership countries, transferring some of the EU best practices and lessons learned,” Leggeri added. It was the first technical assistance project implemented by Frontex as a leading agency. The International Organization for Migration, International Centre for Migration Policy Development and the World Customs Organization served as project partners and funding was provided by the European Commission. Structured cooperation between Frontex and the Eastern Partnership countries will continue and the Agency remains committed to build on the results of the project.
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