Netherlands Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

‘Further strengthening asylum and migration management in Bosnia and Herzegovina’

CILC’s project ‘Further strengthening asylum and migration management in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, funded by the Netherlands through the MATRA COPROL program with € 650.000, was finalized last week with a conference. Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to BiH Loes Lammerts delivered a speech, which the Embassy shares with you here.

It is an honour for me to be here, representing the Netherlands, at this final conference on the occasion of the finalization of the project ‘ Further strengthening asylum and migration management in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ , supported by the MATRA COPROL  program of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The MATRA program contributes to the transition of societies, where dialogue between government and civil society is respected and nurtured.

First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the Ministry of Security of BiH, the Ministry for Human Rights and Returnees, Ministry for Social Welfare and the civil society organisation Vasa Prava, who made this collaboration a success.

I am proud that three Dutch institutions are present and provided their expertise to BiH counterparts, a) the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and the department for Repatriation and  departure services, both part of the Netherlands’  Ministry of Security, b) The Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC), and c) Dutch council for refugees (Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland).

The support these Dutch organisations have offered BiH within the framework of this project reflects the priority The Netherlands gives this topic. The Netherlands during its EU-Presidency has put a lot of effort to address this topic within the EU. Therefore, we have also been available for supporting this region, particularly with this activity, as BiH traditionally always had an influx of migrants.

Migration is currently one of the mayor challenges in the world, smuggling of migrants even

transformed into a very lucrative business, it has also proven to be an issue that can’t be dealt with alone, not within a country or in the region.
Therefore the project “Further strengthening asylum and migration management in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, which was initiated from BiH’s side in 2013, dealt with an important issue in a timeframe when migration appeared in patterns/ flows we could have never predicted beforehand.

First of all, The Netherlands considers a systematic approach to migration as the only way to deal with such a complex issue.

Secondly, the partners involved are all equally important.  From the Dutch side , The Dutch Council of Refugees, CILC, INS, Ministry of Security  and others from the BiH side, Ministry of Security, civil society organizations. The full chain of actors dealing with migrants is important to obtain results, as they are all needed, not only the BiH migration authorities but also legal aid providers (often CSO’s), and collaboration within the WB-region, as migration is about people.

Partners present today, their cooperation during the project and their commitment assures us that BiH is on the right track and is prepared for migration challenges it might be faced with in future.

I wish you a success and fruitful cooperation.


Project ‘Further strengthening asylum and migration management in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ was realized in the period from 1 June 2015 until 31 May 2016 with a total value of EUR 650.000.