BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - International tasks

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International tasks

Asylum and migration policy is now subject to European influences to a considerable degree, and the law on asylum is harmonised at European level. In order to manage legal migration and combat illegal migration, legal acts have been handed down at EU level. These and other fields of asylum and migration policy are also financially promoted and influenced by the EU through a variety of programmes.

The international work of the Federal Office is revealed in the cooperation with the partners and European institutions in order to also effectively implement the legal norms in practice. At the same time, the Federal Office observes, analyses and evaluates the legislation, case-law and legal developments in the Member States. The Federal Office also sets the main points when it comes to implementing European programmes.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior is supported by the Federal Office in carrying out its international tasks, for instance in the preparation of German negotiating positions in the competent bodies of the Council.

Cooperation with the European Asylum Support Office

The Federal Office operates as the national Contact Point for the European Asylum Support Office. The EASO is to help better implement the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), and to strengthen practical cooperation among the EU Member States on asylum. Moreover, Member States whose asylum and reception systems are under particular pressure are supported with operative measures. Asylum and support teams are also deployed. In carrying out its role as the National Contact Point, after an appeal for experts has been initiated via the EASO calling for support to be provided to a Member State, the Federal Office examines whether it can provide its own experts for these activities. The support activity itself is then coordinated by the EASO and implemented in the enquiring Member State with the experts who are made available. The EASO additionally carries out a large number of thematic events, in which the Federal Office also participates. It also guides the development of training modules of the EASO training curriculum, with which staff are trained in the field of asylum.

Administration of the asylum, migration and integration fund

The Federal Office was tasked for the promotional period 2014 to 2020 with the administration of the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) as an authority with responsibility for EU tasks. The goal of the Fund is to support the European Union in implementing a joint European asylum system and promoting the integration of third-country nationals, legal migration and returns. Roughly 208 million Euro were allocated to the Federal Republic of Germany for this task for the entire promotional period, and this sum is being managed by the Federal Office.

Support is primarily given to projects which improve the reception conditions for asylum seekers, promote the initial integration and equal opportunities of third-country nationals in Germany, or which improve voluntary return and sustainable reintegration. Interested project organisations are advised by staff members of the Federal Office.

International networking and committee work

European and international information exchange guarantees objective, reliable, comparable information on migration and asylum. The Federal Office maintains contact and an exchange of information with European and international bodies in order to improve cooperation. It also operates as a National Contact Point for the EASO and the EMN. The Federal Office is furthermore represented at the General Directors’ Immigration Services Conference (GDISC).

The Federal Office operates as the National Contact within the EMN. The Contact Point engages in a lively exchange with the Member States and the institutions of the EU, providing objective, reliable, comparable information on migration and asylum.

The GDISC is an amalgam of migration authorities in Europe within an informal network at General Director level. The aim in mind is to both facilitate and promote practical cooperation between the migration authorities of the participant states, and to operate as a forum for an exchange of experience and best practices, as well as to establish networks of experts.

Resettlement – Humanitarian reception – Relocation

The Federal Office is responsible for implementing the resettlement procedure. Resettlement is the permanent reception of persons from third countries in which those concerned have initially sought protection but where they have no prospects of becoming integrated and are unable to return to their home countries. Germany currently receives 500 persons per year as part of the resettlement procedure.

People are received in Germany in the humanitarian reception procedure who have fled their home countries because of crises and are unable able to return there in either the short or long term.

The "relocation procedure" is used to redistribute asylum-seekers from EU Member States which are under particular strain to other Member States. This is intended to guarantee that the refugees are fairly distributed across Europe.

Promoting voluntary returns

Voluntary return is a migration policy management tool. Its coordination is a matter for the Federal Office, and has been carried out since December 2014 by the Federation-Länder Coordination Agency for Integrated Return Management (BLK-IRM).

The Coordination Agency coordinates the work of a variety of players and practitioners from the Federation, the Länder and the local authorities in voluntary return, as well as in removal, transfers within the Dublin procedure, and reintegration. In the interest of the persons obliged to depart, and of the authorities, this is to guarantee a uniform, transparent, humane return procedure.

The Federation and the Länder support voluntary return by means of a large number of promotional measures:

The REAG / GARP humanitarian assistance programme (Reintegration and Emigration Programme for Asylum-Seekers in Germany/Government Assisted Repatriation Programme) supports persons who are willing to return by granting financial travel benefits and meeting transport costs, as well as providing initial aid. REAG / GARP is also a model for various return programmes in other European countries.

In addition to this fundamental programme, the Federal Office offers further reintegration projects which above all take specific situations in certain countries of origin into consideration.

In the European Reintegration Instrument Network (ERIN) return initiative, the Federal Office takes advantage of the synergies in cooperation with other Member States in order to improve returnees’ reintegration. Local partners in the crisis regions provide direct assistance.

The Federal Office supports people with the Kosovo URA2 return project after they have returned, including in seeking work and by providing psychological guidance.

Voluntary return can only take place on the basis of comprehensive advice. The Federal Office offers extensive information regarding the various countries of origin to potential returnees as well as to the various return advice centres via the Information Centre for Voluntary Return (ZIRF). The database provides information on vocational prospects, promotional programmes and contacts. What is more, ZIRF counselling enables potential returnees to turn to the Federal Office with their individual questions.

Staff deployments abroad

The exchange of liaison staff with migration authorities in selected EU Member States improves the flow of information in asylum, migration, integration and returns, and enhances cooperation in implementing European legal norms. The liaison staff furthermore also mediates between the Member States in the implementation of the Dublin Regulation, whilst also promoting a mutual exchange of best practices between the partner authorities.

The Federal Office deploys liaison staff at selected German diplomatic representations to provide support in carrying out their specialist tasks. The deployment takes place on the basis of an agreement between the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Foreign Office intended to accelerate the asylum procedures.

As the Federal Office’s specialist tasks developed, the profile of tasks of the liaison staff was also adjusted to respond to changing needs and to the requirements of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In addition to the original tasks, such as supporting the Federal Foreign Office in ascertaining the situation in the deployment country in terms of asylum and returns, in granting visas, as well as in obtaining information for the Federal Office and for the administrative courts, the liaison staff also carry out essential tasks with regard to returns and migration. These include observing the further development of returnees and coordinating activities related to voluntary return and forced returns.

Date 31 July 2017

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