Creation of a Voluntary Return European Network (VREN)

rom 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2013, the International Organization for Migration implemented the project "VREN – Creation of a Voluntary Return European Network" (VREN) which was co-financed by the European Return Fund (Community Actions 2010), the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and other donors.

VREN aimed to create an EU-wide network on voluntary return and to improve cooperation and exchange among stakeholders in this field. The network was nurtured by the contribution of governmental, non-governmental and international stakeholders with experience and interest in the voluntary return and reintegration of migrants, covering the whole spectrum of the voluntary return process.

VREN included the creation of an Advisory Group consisting of representatives of the governments of participating countries as well as major international and non-governmental stakeholders with relevant expertise on voluntary return and reintegration, who will contribute to the structure and content of the network and identify priorities for information exchange and discussion.

Apart from the Advisory Group, VREN's main tool was an e-community to gather and share of information on all activities in the field of voluntary return, in order to increase coherence and create positive synergies at the European level.

The e-community included a variety of sections such as a document library, a forum for discussions and surveys, a library of interesting links, an event calendar, a message board and more. It is intended to be a lively instrument that responds to changing needs.

You can join the VREN Community by registering at:

At the national level, IOM facilitated the work of National Stakeholders Networks in order to strengthen the overall cooperation and exchange of information amongst all national stakeholders and to identify further areas in need of coordination. The first meeting of the National Stakeholder Network in Austria took place on 28 June 2012 at the premises of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.

More detailed information on VREN's activities can be found in the information leaflet as well as the VREN Newsletter.

For further information, please contact Ms. Andrea Götzelmann-Rosado (email:, tel: 01/ 585 33 22 24).

This project was co-funded by the European Return Fund (2010 Community Actions), the Ministries of the Interior of Austria, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland, and the UK Border Agency.