Ref. Ares(2022)5459265 - 29/07/2022
Ref. Ares(2022)5660210 - 09/08/2022
ERRIN Strategic Management Board Meeting Minutes
25 November 2021
The meeting was held along the attached agenda with the Strategic Management Board (SMB) meeting chaired
by Mr Eeuwke Faber, Deputy Director-General for International Migration Policy of the Nederlands’ Ministry of
Justice and Security.
Strategic Management Board Meeting
Chair: Eeuwke Faber
Opening and Welcome
Mr Faber opened the meeting as new SMB chair and welcomed all the participants.
ERRIN State of Play
From Q1 and Q2 number of reintegration cases continued to be impacted by Covid-19.
Caseload per EPI: DE remains the largest country, followed by FR. Whereas, Afghanistan (AFG) remains
the largest country of return, although the situation has changed since August 2021 and returns were
(temporarily) halted by EU Member States (MS). Since August, there is a number of voluntary returns to
Overview of other ERRIN activities:
o Cooperation started with a reception centre for unaccompanied minors (SOS Children’s Villages)
in Albania, now ready to receive returning minors. Agreements have been signed and the activity
is fully operational;
o Assisted Voluntary Return pilot project in Syria (limited caseload – only 20 returnees);
o Gov2Gov: institutional capacity building of migration authorities in Armenia and Ghana
strengthening local ownership and encouraging implementation of EU Readmission Agreements;
o CADRE: set up to exchange among return counsellors and development of train the trainers
workshops on return counselling;
o RIAT: gradual increase in cases processed in the application, with more registered users.
State of Play transfer to Frontex
No further information about the state of play on Frontex (FX) transition to those provided during the
High Level Round Table.
NL congratulated ERRIN and FX for all the efforts, and stressed the importance for NL on the continuity
and quality of the activities during the transfer to FX.
DE would like to have more details on the timeline for the “second phase”, to be prepared on when to
start the reintegration activities. FX informed that by March 2022 there is going to be a grant agreement
for the FX Reintegration Programme and that the Agency is going to keep all involved stakeholders
updated during the process. Activities will start to be implemented as of April 2022. There is no “second
phase” after July 2022, but continuity of the started activities, while new activities/third-countries could
be considered for addition along the way, this depending on the needs identified by MS.
State of Play RRF by ICMPD
ICMPD presented the main points on the state of play with regard to setting up the RRF:
Objective of the RRF is to support the implementation of the “EU strategy on voluntary return and
reintegration (AVRR)”.Additional remark by ICMPD after the meeting: note that the scope of the RRF is defined by the definition
of return in the new AMIF Regulation and is not limited to AVRR only.
To prepare the RRF project proposal, a coordination team has been created with representatives of ERRIN
PMU, ICMPD and seconded staff. Four “task forces” are preparing a work plan on the continuation of the
Two meetings have been organised with the European Commission (COM)/DG HOME to discuss
governance, funding and timing of next steps. COM provided full clarity on co-funding requirements and
terms & conditions for non-AMIF eligible countries.
Hitherto, bilateral exchanges had taken place with: BE-FR (Reach out); DK and NO (as non-AMIF eligible
countries); FI (SRI); FR (OFII pilot project); NL; SE (SRA).
On the substance, ambition is not to continue the current projects as isolated work items, but to cluster
them into four meaningful thematic areas, allowing for synergies and economies of scale:
o Innovative reintegration;
o Local ownership (long term perspective);
o Return counselling;
o Programmatic activities: RIAT; CADRE; QMF, in support to the EU AVRR Strategy.
Funding: The RRF-structure will be 100% funded by COM. This includes actions that ICMPD will implement
on behalf of MS. Actions that are implemented by MS through a grant can be funded up to 90%. This
implies that MS have to provide co-funding of 10% (more co-funding is of course possible).
For further discussion: to include the possibility of 95% funding for highly innovative projects.
Non-AMIF eligible countries (CH, DK and NO) can make use of the RRF structure to implement actions that
they fund themselves. Non-AMIF eligible countries can benefit from the overall results and outcomes of
the RRF. They can benefit from tangible project deliverables and participate in events on a self-fund basis.
o Enlargement countries can be associated as observers;
o Some governance-related issues need decisions (e.g. chair of Facility Steering Committee (FSC),
representation of MS in GEC). ICMPD willing to develop a proposal but the FSC decides;
o Currently working on an RRF partnership agreement (as suggested by NL) based on the current
o Possibility to second national staff to the RRF.
o ERRIN heritage work plan will be forwarded to MS on 10.12;
o “ex-ante FSC” on 17.12, 10:00 – 12:00.
BE stressed the need of the resources necessary for the implementation of these activities (including the
ERRIN heritage) and the importance of several activities. BE would like to be kept informed on the state
of play of the budget discussions.
NL appreciated the constructive reflection on the way forward to the RRF and looks forward to the
meeting on 17/12 to make further fruitful steps.
DE agreed with NL and would like to be involved in the further shaping of what is happening, even before
DK appreciated that non-AMIF eligible MS can take part and supported the importance that the activities
not taken over by FX would be continued under the RRF, especially the Technical Working Group (TWG)
and assistance to vulnerable groups.
COM stressed the importance of the word “Heritage” and thanked ICMPD for the close cooperation. COM
took note of the funding point and informed that more clarity on the budget will be provided early
ERRIN PMU stressed that the challenge would be a coordination mechanism in order to develop these
activities in good cooperation with all the involved stakeholders. Side note on vulnerable groups: RRF
would provide complementary and additional support on what FX would offer, therefore the necessity to
align with it.
o Finalisation of all reintegration cases that started until July 2021;
o Final reporting and evaluation at both national level (NL and other MS) and EU level;
o Support to FX and RIAT as requested by the Agency.
ERRIN has gained good experience in working with local service providers (SP) in these years, on which
the Caretaker project can rely. This support is included in the proposal.
Currently, there is a draft budget and a plan shared with COM, the next step is the approval by COM.
Similar to ERRIN, the project would be 90% co-financed under AMIF with 10% contributions from the
Intention to launch a work plan in January 2022 and need to conclude partnership agreements with ICMPD
and participating MS.
The CareTaker project will be ready to start in July 2022, no delays are expected.
FR enquired whether the Caretaker project would need co-funding. ERRIN PMU confirmed that it will need
co-funding, as 90% is financed and 10% is financed by the MS, similar to ERRIN. ERRIN PMU will come up
with a proposal for partnership agreements on how the co-funding works.
BE asked how the co-financing would work and if any consultation with the MS will be arranged. ERRIN
PMU informed that it is envisaged but it has not been decided yet because the budget is not finalised.1
1 In the meanwhile. COM has informed than an amount of up to EUR 6M is reserved for the CareTaker under
the AMIF 2021-2027 Thematic Facility.
Presentation by the Armenian Migration Service
Reintegration of Armenian citizens returning home was not a consolidated policy in Armenia until 2019,
when the Armenian Migration Service (AMS) established a unit to deal with all the commitments following
from Readmission Agreements. Other reintegration projects with international organisation and NGOs
were in place at that time; in 2017-18 the AMS started to engage with them and coordinate their work.
When the AMS established its own reintegration coordination in 2019, it was noticed that the main gap
in the field was support and reintegration in case of forced returns. Therefore, a governmental decree
was approved to fill the gap and provide assistance to forced returnees, but also in general to all returnees.
According to AMS data, returnees’ primary needs are related to health, integration of vulnerable groups,
economic activities and children’s education.
What is needed from the AMS side is further institutionalisation and strengthening the capacity. The AMS
is now further involving psychologist and working on a handbook about counselling and referral
mechanisms. Moreover, the service is trying to better coordinate with international organisations, NGOs
and other partners present on the ground.
The AMS also needs sustainability in order to sustain what has been gained so far, to strengthen the
monitoring component and improve its innovation and digitalisation.
In Armenia, migration trends have gradually changed and return is gaining increasing importance in the
country’s migration policies.
AMS praised the role and involvement of ERRIN in supporting capacity building on the Armenian side.
With the end of ERRIN in site, continued cooperation will be needed and appreciated, adding to excellent
cooperation between the EU and its MS and Armenia.
DE expressed gratitude towards the Armenian authorities and appreciated the ongoing project. DE
stressed the interest in continuing and further developing the project in Armenia in the RRF.
COM welcomed the results achieved and the development in the areas of reintegration in Armenia, which
could be taken as an example to replicate in other third countries.
NL complimented the AMS work and agreed with DE.
ARM stressed the importance of the Gov2Gov project because it helped in raising awareness and in
creating the policy in the country.
Conclusion and Final remarks:
Three main points touched during the meeting:
o Transfer to ICMPD: useful discussion, final clarity on the RRF needed from the MS and ICMPD, if
possible before the end of the year. Clarity on the funding from COM is also appreciated;
o Caretaker: the aim is to guarantee continuity as well as supporting FX. Question on funding to be
finalised as well;
o Follow up: plan to have another SMB before the end of ERRIN in July 2022 (date tbd).
Mark your calendars for ERRIN closing conference at the beginning of June 2022.
Brussels, 25 November 2021