The joint webinar series (online seminars) is organized by the EU-BOMCA Programme, in collaboration with OSCE, GIZ, and US INL project, and aimed to support key border agencies of Central Asia in advancing border management responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The series includes webinars broadcasted in Uzbekistan (29/06), Turkmenistan (09/07), and Kazakhstan (10/07).

International traffic bans, lockdown restrictions and preventive border controls have been one of the most visible policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak around the world. The webinars addressed their impacts on border management strategies from various perspectives, as well as important lessons about border control measures in times of public health emergency. The CA representatives of the Border Guard, Customs, Migration, Veterinary, Phytosanitary, and Sanitary Epidemiology services raised awareness of practical border management solutions for ensuring the uninterrupted supply of critical goods and expedited border clearances during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Central Asian partners together with their European counterparts exchanged insights on how to best adapt the border control system to the COVID crises and discussed recommendations on what could and should be done as a response measure to tackle pandemic’s impact, particularly in the field of interagency cooperation and coordinated action at all levels. The EU’s good practices relating to specific protocols, guidelines, and sequential action algorithms between the state agencies at border checkpoints in times of the pandemic outbreak were shared with the CA border authorities.

The webinars are a part of BOMCA activities in the context of COVID-19 response. The assistance also included a supply of personal protective equipment to the Border Agencies of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and is being processed for Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The personal protective equipment will help to avoid the risk of infection for the frontline officers serving at the state border.