On December 6, 2021, the 1st meeting of the Regional Steering Group of the 10th phase of the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA) was held, attended by representatives of the project beneficiaries from the Central Asian countries, component leaders and partners from the EU member states. The meeting aimed at informing about milestones of Programme’s planning, implementation, and monitoring. It further served a platform for providing updates on project implementation, main findings of the assessment missions, presentation of the inception report and endorsement of work plan for the 1st year of implementation (2021 - 2022). The Steering Group has an important and crucial role at national and regional levels, as its members oversee and provide strategic guidance to the overall project implementation.
In the welcoming speech on the occasion of the 1st Steering Group Meeting, BOMCA 10 Programme Leader, Guntis Pujats noted: “I am sure that the meeting will be an important step to strengthen cooperation, and will serve as a basis for the successful implementation of the Programme objectives. I want to assure you that the Programme team, as well as experts, will seek to ensure the timely implementation of the planned activities and the achievement of effective results. However, it is very important that the participating government agencies are ready to transform their practice and are interested in developing common approaches and new standards in accordance with international standards.”
During the event, the goals and objectives of the Programme were introduced, as well as plans for its implementation in all five countries of the region. The Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA) is the long-lasting leading Programme funded by the European Union in the region. It is implemented by the consortium of border management institutions of selected EU member states and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) led by the State Border Guard of the Republic of Latvia. The tenth phase with a total budget of EUR 21.65 million is the largest initiative in the region. The Programme was launched on April 1, 2021, its implementation period is 54 months. The main objective of the BOMCA Programme is to enhance security, stability and sustainable growth in the region, while supporting cross-border cooperation and improving living conditions for people in the border areas of Central Asia. Thematically, BOMCA 10 covers four components: institutional development of border management agencies, improvement of detection capacities, trade facilitation, and improvement of cross-border cooperation. Geographically, the project covers all five countries of Central Asia. The current phase, built on the achievements and results of previous activities, will continue to work to support cross-border cooperation and improve the living conditions of people living in the border regions of Central Asia, and will also facilitate legal trade flows across borders.