The European Union sees Central Asia as one of the most strategically important regions. Trans-regional challenges such as human trafficking, drug trafficking, organised crime and terrorism influence the EU interests. The EU has been supporting the Central Asian States through various development and cooperation mechanisms.
The basis of the EU approach towards the Central Asian States is underlined in the document EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership
adopted by the European Council in June 2007. The nature of this approach shows that the EU has developed a set of consolidated measures for providing support in Central Asia, not only targeting each country individually but also addressing challenges on the regional level.
Since border security is one of the key elements for stability of the whole region, the EU developed a special Programme in 2002, the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA), aimed at enhancing security, fighting against illegal trafficking and facilitating trade in Central Asia. Since its inception, the Programme has been specifically linked to a number of the EU objectives set forth in its strategic documents.
Since its launch in 2003, the BOMCA Programme has implemented phases targeting capacity building and institutional development, developing trade corridors, improving border management systems and eliminating drug trafficking across the Central Asia region. Each new phase of BOMCA was designed to gradually continue the Actions implemented during the preceding phases of the Programme. During its earlier phases, the Programme focused its resources on creating a modern border management infrastructure equipped with the latest equipment. With time the horizons of BOMCA became broader and the actions of the Programme not only targeted border guards, but also other authorities working in the area of customs, migration, drug control, agriculture, health, etc. The Programme introduced the concept and principles of Integrated Border Management (IBM), with the view to improve cooperation and communication channels among border agencies. The concept is not only built on best EU practice, but is also aimed at tackling the issue of coordination and consolidation of actions of the Central Asian border management institutions – one of the challenges that BOMCA had to face.
The latest BOMCA phase aimed especially at strengthening institutional reform and enhancing professional skills. During the 8th phase of BOMCA, several hundred members of Central Asian border authorities were trained on a wide range of topics, including IBM, Document Security, Stolen Vehicle Identification, Intelligence Gathering and Analysis, Border Control Procedures, Supply Chain Security, International Shipment of Strategic Goods, Post-Clearance Control, Customs Valuation, Modern Technologies in Border Control, Irregular Migration and THB, Counter-terrorism & Organised Crime, Anti-corruption, ToT and other relevant topics. Additionally, the foundation for establishing a consortia of training centres was laid whereby Border Guards and customs training institutions established partnerships with a view to harmonise training curricula, support strengthening capacities of neighbouring countries and partner with EU Border management training institutions.
Building on the success of the previous phases, the 9th phase of BOMCA intends to continue interventions in the areas of institution development, management of migration flows and trade facilitation.
Total Cost (EUR): 4 954 784.93
EU contracted amount (EUR): 4 503 899.5
Duration: June 2015 - June 2018
Implementing organisation: State Border Guard of Latvia
Funding Instrument: Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI)
Benefitting zone: Central Asia Region
STORY : Border Management in Central Asia - Phase 9 (BOMCA 9)
"The workshop was very useful, productive and informative. For me as a border service officer the issue of identification and profiling is crucial. I significantly enriched my knowledge in interviewing techniques and will use the new experience in my duties."
Officer from the Kyrgyz Republic international border crossing points who participated in the workshop on identification and profiling technics for border agencies, organized by BOMCA in March 2016
The European Union sees Central Asia as one of the most strategically important regions. Trans-regional challenges such as human trafficking, trafficking of drugs, organised crime and terrorism influence the EU interests. Since border security is one of the key elements for stability of the whole region, in 2002 the EU developed a special Programme, the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA), aimed at enhancing security, fighting against illegal trafficking and facilitating trade in Central Asia.
To sustain institutional development in the transition to more effective and efficient methods of border management.
To develop legal and procedural instruments, as well as advanced practices to manage regular and irregular migration at borders, in compliance with international norms and standards.
To introduce measures to improve the efficiency of border checks and procedures facilitating licit trade and transit of goods and countering various forms of smuggling.
Nearly 7 000 officials have participated in various training courses throughout all the phases of BOMCA.
Halfway through implementation of BOMCA 9, over 900 people from all Central Asian countries have participated in more than 60 events of different scale - regional and national seminars and workshops, advisory missions and study visits to the European countries.
View on BOMCA from the Kyrgyz Republic
"Central Asian countries as well as the world at large are facing a number of ambiguous and multifactor security challenges and threats, addressing of which requires the consolidated efforts of politicians, diplomats and international experts.
"At the beginning of 2000, the European Union began to actively cooperate with the Central Asian states, including the Kyrgyz Republic, on regional security and countering transnational threats. This cooperation resulted in the development and implementation of one of the largest EU-funded programmes in the Central Asia region, namely, BOMCA.
"During the more than 10 years of the programme's history in Kyrgyzstan and in the region as a whole, I can say that BOMCA diligently sought the best and most innovative ways to strengthen the capacity of its beneficiaries through technical support, institutional development and improvement of professional skills and the capacity of agencies involved in border management issues." Rayimberdi Duishenbiev, Major General, Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic
FACTS AND FIGURES
- All five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) are beneficiaries of the project.
- BOMCA 9 is the 9th phase of BOMCA and builds upon the achievements of the previous phases.