BeNIP Network Project
Official network for international projects in the field of return and reintegration (BeNIP)
On 01.10.2012, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) launched a project aimed at contributing to the improved co-ordination of return initiatives at national level, through the construction of a nationwide network of selected government agencies involved in return management and support. A coherent nationwide procedure is essential in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of return initiatives. The project includes consideration of the procedures and experience of selected European partner authorities in order potentially to adopt tried and tested practices – adapted as necessary. The knowledge and experience gained from the BeNIP project is to be used inter alia to create a return and reintegration office within the BAMF.
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Diverse system of return support
Germany currently has a diverse system of return support as there is no national legislation governing general return assistance offered by the state. Support for voluntary return is provided at various levels in Germany (national, regional and local). In addition to government agencies, numerous non-governmental organisations are active in this area, creating a diverse support system. Numerous local and regional government agencies are also active in the field of return. No comprehensive network currently exists. Regular exchanges only take place in a few specific areas, e.g. at a national level there is an annual meeting between national and regional authorities to discuss the development and financing of the programme Reintegration and Emigration Programme for Asylum-Seekers in Germany (REAG) / Government Assisted Repatriation Programme (GARP). The BAMF is also involved in existing committees and networks, the membership of which varies depending on the area they cover.. Other exchange mechanisms also exist at regional level. The BeNIP project was devised firstly to bring the diverse systems of return support together in a network and identify potential for collaboration between selected government agencies.
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The BeNIP project is financed equally from the European Return Fund and Federal Government funds.
Integrated return management
The aim is to ensure sustainable long-term return through integrated return management, in which the reintegration element is reinforced via closer collaboration with partner organisations in the country of origin. The willingness of foreign nationals without leave to remain in the country to undertake voluntary return should be increased through easier access to information on return support programmes and improved information quality.
The project is also intended to provide a foundation for future international project work involving the participating authorities. This essentially involves
- agreement with European partners on acquiring potential junior partners or consortium partners
- and the joint development of projects for specific target countries / regions.
Four German states (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia) are participating in the pilot phase of the project. It is planned that the network will be extended on completion of the pilot phase in September 2014.