CBSS Secretariat’s Deputy Director General Bernd Hemingway participated in the Baltic Sea Region Border Control Cooperation (BSRBCC) Heads Conference on 27-28 November 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden. More than 30 representatives from national police authorities, coast guards and immigration services from 10 countries in the Baltic Sea Region as well as Frontex and the CBSS delegation reviewed the implementation of the 2018 Swedish Action Plan and were presented with the new 2019 Action Plan by the upcoming Danish presidency. BSRBCC 2018 Annual Threat Assessment (ATA) was also discussed along with the outcomes of the Joint Operation Baltic Tracking 2018.
The Annual Threat Assessment regarding irregular migration and cross-border crime in the BSR points to a situation and a development in line with the previous year’s assessment. Hence, there are no expected significant changes to the threat assessment for 2019.
The 2018 ATA includes a featured analysis on the visa-liberalization regime for third-country nationals of Ukraine and Georgia for travel into the Schengen area which was instituted in 2017. The analysis concludes that the risks related to illegal entry, overstay and cross-border crime committed by these two groups seem to have increased. The threats are still regarded as low to moderate, but as the flows across the external borders continue to increase so do the potential threats.
The irregular migration taking place along the Eastern land border has seen a general continued sharp fall in the number of attempted illegal border-crossings during the current reporting period.
In his speech, Bernd