Luxembourg/Brussels, 5 June 2008
Jacques Barrot, the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for justice, freedom and security, Louis Michel, the Commissioner responsible for development policy, Dragutin Mate, the Slovenian Minister for Home Affairs and Livio Fernandes Lopes, the Minister for Home Affairs of the Republic of Cape Verde, today launched, in cooperation with the appropriate ministers of the Member States concerned (Spain, France, Luxembourg and Portugal) a mobility partnership between the European Union and Cape Verde, by signing a Joint Declaration in the margins of the Justice and Home Affairs Council.
Vice-President Barrot declared his support for such partnerships in the following terms: "Through these mobility partnerships, the European Union is taking practical steps towards managing migration in a coordinated and responsible fashion, which should better equip both the Union and its partners to meet the challenges posed by migration and to take full advantage of the opportunities it offers".
Mr Michel, the Commissioner responsible for development policy, declared,"In signing this Declaration, we are committing ourselves, together with Cape Verde, to stepping up our dialogue and our cooperation in the field of migration. I am thinking in particular of legal migration, strengthening the link between migration and development and the fight against illegal immigration. This Declaration is of great political significance. In initiating this pilot mobility partnership, we are paving the way for joint management of migration that is responsible, humane and beneficial to all."
Mobility partnerships, which are currently in a pilot phase, are new instruments designed to give practical expression to the partnership between the European Union and third countries so as to ensure the responsible joint management of migratory flows in the interests of the Union, its partners and the migrants themselves. Mobility partnerships should also be seen in the context of the implementation of the Global Approach developed by the European Union in the field of migration. The Republic of Cape Verde and the Republic of Moldova are the first two countries with which the Union is entering into such a commitment.
The partnership reflects Cape Verde's expectations, particularly as regards facilitation short stay for its nationals on European Union territory, and those of the European Union as regards combating illegal immigration and readmission.
The partnership provides for the setting up in Praia of a joint centre which will accept applications for short-stay visas, promoting improvements in the arrangements for the movement of people and legal migration, and building Cape Verde's capacity to manage migration, notably by developing a centre designed to implement measures for the information, integration and protection of migrants and returnees. There are also plans to improve the efficiency of workers' migration procedures and to develop job opportunities both in Cape Verde and abroad.
The partnership also provides for initiatives to maximise the benefits of migration for development and, in particular, to do more to enable the Cape Verdian diaspora to contribute to the development of its country of origin, notably by encouraging transfers of money and skills and facilitating circular migration and/or return, so as to mitigate the impact of the emigration of highly qualified individuals.
As regards combating illegal immigration, the partnership is designed to combat illegal migration and trafficking in human beings and to strengthen management of the borders and document security, notably by building Cape Verde's capacity in the field of maritime security, the use of new information and communication technologies and training in checking documents. Initiatives relating to border controls should also be facilitated by the establishment of an operational arrangement between Cape Verde and Frontex.
There will also be cooperation designed to help Cape Verde establish a system of asylum in line with international standards.
En décembre 2007, le Conseil de l'Union européenne a invité la Commission à engager, en collaboration avec les États membres et la Présidence, un dialogue avec le Cap Vert en vue de lancer un partenariat pilote pour la mobilité.
Il s'agit, pour l'Union européenne et le Cap Vert, de poursuivre et d’intensifier leur dialogue et leur coopération dans les dimensions essentielles qui fondent l’approche globale dans le domaine de la migration, à savoir une meilleure gestion des migrations légales, le renforcement du lien entre « migration » et « développement » et la lutte contre l’immigration illégale.
Les discussions engagées entre la Commission européenne, les Etats membres intéressés et la République du Cap Vert, ont abouti à une Déclaration d'intention, de nature politique, contenant en annexe une série d'initiatives concrètes proposées par les signataires, qui, mises en œuvre de façon concertée, donneront une expression concrète au partenariat. Frontex et la Fondation Européenne pour la Formation participent également au partenariat en leur qualité d'agences communautaires. Le partenariat est basé sur le dialogue et la réciprocité et demeure ouvert à toute nouvelle initiative supplémentaire ainsi qu'à tout Etat Membre souhaitant y participer.