Frontex hosted the first annual reintegration conference

In Prague, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency hosted the first annual reintegration conference. The event brought together authorities from EU and Schengen countries, our reintegration partners, the European Commission and international experts on migration. 

To help migrants who are returned to their countries of origin, Frontex supports EU and Schengen countries in providing reintegration assistance.  

“Reintegration is not merely a process; it’s a commitment to restoring dignity, hope, and opportunity to those returning to their countries of origin. It is key in breaking the cycle of irregular migration. Providing returnees with the tools to build a sustainable life in their home country can discourage them and their compatriots from undertaking perilous journeys in the future,” said Frontex Executive Director Hans Leijtens opening the event.  

“Finally, reintegration can contribute significantly to the development of countries of origin. Returnees bring with them skills, experiences, and perspectives gained abroad, which can be invaluable assets. When effectively reintegrated, they can become catalysts for positive change, contributing to the socio-economic fabric of their communities and fostering development from within,” he added.  

The reintegration partners, academicians and Member States experts took part in a panel discussion on the impact of well-tailored pre-departure assistance in EU and Schengen countries on the reintegration outcomes. Another panel explored how different actors support the returnees, especially those far from the capitals. The discussion examined potential initiatives within the communities, as well as involvement of private sector, diaspora organisations, associations of returnees, service providers, public services etc. in the reintegration process.

About reintegration assistance 

Frontex has been supporting Member States in providing reintegration assistance as part of its Reintegration Programme through the so-called Joint Reintegration Services since 1 April 2022. The implementation of the Frontex Reintegration Programme ensures that all Member States can make use of an EU-standardised reintegration programme, and that returnees will benefit from the same support across whole Europe.  

The agency has contracted five reliable reintegration partners around the globe – Caritas International Belgium, WELDO, IRARA, European Technology and Training Centre (ETTC) and Life Makers Foundation – delivering these services to non-EU nationals returning to their home countries. The quality of the services will be overseen by a dedicated quality monitoring framework that is currently under development in cooperation with the European Commission.  

So far, the Joint Reintegration Services have made significant strides, with over 2 800 persons receiving assistance, submitted by 18 Member States across 34 countries of origin.