|The Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI)|
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MARRI was set up in 2003 by merging the Migration and Asylum Initiative (MAI) and the Regional Return Initiative (RRI) – both established within the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe.
MARRI Member States are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia.
MARRI was created in line with the basic guidelines of the concept of regional ownership, whereby the capability of the above states to independently cooperate and harmonize their own policies with the very important segments of European integration, migration, asylum and refuges, i.e. the ability to reach European standards in these areas, is proven.
The Initiative's highest body is the Regional Forum which provides political support to the Initiative's work. It engages ministers and high representatives responsible for the issues of, asylum, migration, border management, visa regime and return of displaced persons. The Forum serves for exchange of information, experience and for making decisions of common interest to its Member States. The Regional Forum is supported by the MARRI Regional Centre in Skopje, which serves as a liaison office through which Forum decisions are implemented.
The Centre also provides logistic support for contacts between the President of the Regional Forum and MARRI Member States. The current Director of the MARRI Regional Centre in Skopje is Trpe Stojanovski. Members of the Regional Committee are representatives from the Ministriesof Foreign Affairs of MARRI Member States. The institution of the Regional Committee is envisaged in the MARRI Statute (Article 13). The Regional Committee is tasked to determine the guidelines for the work of MARRI, to coordinate activities and propose ways of putting into action the ideas and projects within MARRI. The Committee meets at least twice a year, as a rule, on the eve of Regional Forum meetings.
The advantage of participation in the MARRI Initiative is primarily that it enables Serbia's relevant institutions to pursue direct communication with their respective partners in the region, international organizations dealing with migration (IOM, UNHCR) and the EU, thus not only gaining new necessary experience, but also expanding cooperation in areas of vital importance for the stability of the region.
The Republic of Serbia presided over MARRI in 2011/2012.
For more information consult www.marri-rc.org.