ICMPD Gets Bigger: Netherlands Joins as New Member

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: June 14, 2023; 16:41 ♦ (Vindobona)

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) has expanded its membership as the Netherlands becomes its 20th member state. ICMPD is an international organization dedicated to finding innovative solutions to regional migration challenges. This development follows the recent accession of Greece in 2021 and Germany in 2020.

One of the younger international organizations in Vienna has grown in membership. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons; Ogre, CC BY 3.0

The Netherlands has been collaborating with ICMPD for the past 20 years, successfully working together on various migration governance projects. Currently, the Netherlands is engaged in six joint projects with ICMPD, spanning across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This cooperation enables ICMPD to implement activities such as enhancing the coordination of anti-trafficking responses, supporting partner governments in voluntary return mechanisms, and improving the detection of fraudulent use of travel and identity documents in partner countries.

Additionally, the Netherlands actively participates in migration dialogues facilitated by ICMPD, including the Budapest Process, Khartoum Process, and Prague Process. These platforms provide valuable opportunities to establish partnerships, shape agendas, and inform bilateral and EU-level discussions on migration-related developments, thus enabling the Netherlands to enhance its transnational cooperation.

Mr. Eric van der Burg, State Secretary for Justice and Security at the Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security, stated, "As migration movements to the Netherlands and the EU continue to grow, we urgently need to strengthen and implement an effective and humane migration policy. Mutually beneficial agreements with third countries, cooperation within the EU, and knowledge and data on migration phenomena are indispensable for this. ICMPD can contribute in all three of these areas and thus provide a valuable addition to the development and implementation of Dutch migration policy."

"We are thrilled to welcome the Netherlands as a new member state. Our members represent a unique group of countries highly relevant to migration, and the Netherlands is an essential part of this group. Its membership will further strengthen the strategic dimension of our organization," commented ICMPD Director General Michael Spindelegger. "The Netherlands plays a key role in European migration dynamics, and its membership will enhance our ability to jointly respond to migration opportunities and challenges, as well as work towards functioning migration systems at the regional level."

ICMPD has been growing for 30 years

ICMPD was established in 1993 on the initiative of Austria and Switzerland, during a time when the migration landscape in Europe underwent significant transformations due to political changes in Eastern Europe and conflicts in the Balkans.

The organization's membership began to grow in the 1990s with the inclusion of Hungary in 1995 and Slovenia in 1998. Subsequently, the Czech Republic joined in 2001, followed by Sweden, Poland, and Bulgaria in 2003, Portugal and Croatia in 2004, and Slovakia in 2006. Romania and Serbia joined in 2011, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2012, and North Macedonia in 2015. Malta and Turkey became members in 2018, followed by Germany in 2020 and Greece in 2021.