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Strengthening the Global Approach to Migration
This Communication, which follows up from the Communication on “A Common Immigration Policy for Europe” presented by the Commission on 17 June 2008, forms one of the first building blocks of the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, also adopted in October 2008. It calls for increased coordination and synergies between the European Union (EU) and third countries, in order to achieve greater effectiveness and coherence in the practical application of the Global Approach to Migration.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 8 October 2008 – Strengthening the Global Approach to Migration: Increasing coordination, coherence and synergies [COM(2008) 611 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This Communication reports on the implementation of the Global Approach to Migration, presenting its future possibilities and suggesting improvements with regard to its coordination, coherence and synergies. The focus is both on the thematic development and the geographical aspects of the Global Approach.
Legal economic migration
Collaboration with third countries should be extended to address the European Union’s (EU) labour needs. Consequently, potential migrants should be informed about the rules and procedures for gaining legal access to the EU and of the risks associated with illegal migration. To this end, a migration portal will eventually be established and targeted information campaigns carried out. It is also essential that labour migrants’ access to the EU is flexible and that mobility for research or business purposes is facilitated. To this end, the Commission will aim to develop:
- first generation mobility partnerships to use in strategic cooperation activities;
- centres offering information and management services related to migration;
- tools to better match jobseekers to vacancies;
- exchanges of best practice among relevant stakeholders;
- legal and operational measures that encourage circular migration;
- common centres to handle visa applications.
Fighting illegal migration
In order to curb irregular immigration, the EU provides support to third countries on border management-related aspects. The Council has requested that the Commission considers broadening the role of FRONTEX in this context. Support is also provided to the fight against smuggling and trafficking of human beings, namely through international instruments, the national Anti-Trafficking Action Plans and improved legislative acts. Continuing dialogue and cooperation on these issues with partner countries has also been emphasised. In this regard, the Commission intends to support the:
- collection of information relating to changes in migratory routes to the EU;
- development of migration management in key third countries;
- adoption and implementation of National Integrated Border Management Strategies in third countries;
- setting-up of a border surveillance infrastructure under the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) through strengthened cooperation with third countries;
- implementation of the Ouagadougou Action Plan, as well as the development of anti-trafficking strategies by regional organisations.
Migration and development
Migration and development-related work must be improved and intensified. The principles set out in the European Consensus on Development should be used to this end, in particular to tackle the root causes of migration. It is also essential that migration policies be mainstreamed into other relevant policy areas. Hence, the Commission intends to improve the:
- systems for remittance transfers;
- migrant groups’ and diaspora associations’ participation in EU policy-making;
- Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) dimension, especially in relation to brain drain;
- quality of and access to education and vocational training, as well as opportunities for and conditions of employment in high emigration areas;
- application of the European Consensus on Development to issues related to employment, governance and demographic developments;
- understanding of the link between climate change and migration, as well as its present and future effects.
With regard to the southern migratory routes, more coherence needs to be achieved at the policy development and implementation levels. To this end, the Commission aims to promote intra-African cooperation and the development of African migration policy frameworks. At the EU-level, the Commission intends to manage EU-Africa cooperation through the EU Implementation Team on the Migration, Mobility and Employment Partnership.
The migration and development dimension should also be extended to the cooperation between the EU and its neighbouring eastern and south-eastern regions. Issues such as labour migration, remittances, return and reintegration, as well as diaspora networks should be taken into account.
Other regions, such as the Southern Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean also have an impact on the EU’s migration policy in terms of irregular as well as legal economic migration. Therefore, a differentiated approach should be taken to these regions, both bi- and multilaterally, to strengthen dialogue and cooperation.
The Global Approach must provide a practical framework for better migration management. Hence, its coherence and efficiency must be improved. Coordination between the EU, national, regional and local levels, as well as with third countries also needs to be strengthened. Sharing information on the EU’s political objectives regarding migration must be part of the dialogue and cooperation with third countries. In addition, the EU and the Member States should make their policy profile more visible and promote the Global Approach in the different cooperation frameworks.
Finally, the overall efficiency of the Global Approach is also linked to its financing. Consequently, the Community funding instruments, as well as those of the Member States and other outside sources, must be reviewed and their use improved.