Today, the EU and Ethiopia have signed a joint Declaration for a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), reflecting the importance of Ethiopia as a key country of origin, transit and destination of irregular migrants and refugees from the Horn of Africa on the route to Europe.
The Agenda is signed by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg Minister for Foreign Affairs and Acting Council Presidency on behalf of the EU and the Member States and Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
The two parties will cooperate on issues of international protection and refugees' needs, legal migration and mobility, irregular migration, smuggling and trafficking in human beings and development policy. Funding will be made available for implementation of concrete activities, notably through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, for which the EU has already mobilised €1.8 billion.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Ethiopia is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, accommodating over 733,000 refugees. Its Government needs and deserves EU support. Ethiopia is also a country of origin and transit for irregular migration to Europe. We need to work together to better manage these flows in full respect of human rights. Ethiopian authorities have shown a commitment to tackling human trafficking and people smuggling, which is a positive sign for our further cooperation through this Common Agenda. This step is part of the much broader relationship we are trying to build together."
Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, added: “Ethiopia and the European Union are strategic partners for 40 years now, and migration is a common challenge. Among the many bilateral and regional issues we discussed on my visit to Addis Ababa on 20 October, we agreed to boost our cooperation to tackle migrant smuggling and human trafficking, to support the reintegration of returned migrants, to support Ethiopia in its hospitality for refugees from neighbouring countries and to strengthen resilience of most vulnerable communities. The Common Agenda signed today takes EU-Ethiopia cooperation up a level, and will improve the management of migration flows."
The EU is stepping up its cooperation with countries of origin and transit to tackle the current refugee crisis. The EU-Africa Valletta Summit taking place today and tomorrow aims to develop common tools to improve migration management at a continental level. The Declaration and Action Plan to be adopted at the Summit will be implemented through existing regional dialogues. Within this broader framework, the Common Agenda with Ethiopia will be implemented at a bilateral level.
The signing of the Common Agenda follows an intensified dialogue between Ethiopian and European Commission officials, led by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for migration home affairs and citizenship. Final talks took place in Addis Ababa on 20 October 2015, when High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini conducted a High Level Dialogue with Prime Minister Dessalegn. The signature represents a next step in ongoing efforts of the EU and Ethiopia to better manage migration. The EU-Ethiopia Dialogue on Migration and Mobility will provide the overall steering of the Common Agenda through annual meetings alternating between Brussels and Addis Ababa.
The EU is in the process of developing a Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) for the Horn of Africa, which will assist countries hosting large numbers of refugees in addressing the protection and developmental needs of refugees and asylum seekers, needs of refugee hosting communities, and capacity building by national authorities. The RDPP Horn of Africa consortium is led by the Netherlands, and will be supported by EU funds and national contributions.
Bilateral dialogues on migration and mobility between the EU and third countries can take different forms. Mobility Partnerships (MPs) as well as Common Agendas on Migration and Mobility (CAMMs) provide important frameworks for policy dialogue and operational cooperation.
A proposal to negotiate a Mobility Partnership is presented once a certain level of progress has been achieved in migration and mobility dialogues. Mobility Partnerships include the negotiation of visa facilitation and readmission agreements, whereas CAMMs do not. Mobility Partnerships are mainly used for neighbourhood countries, whereas CAMMs are mainly used for other third countries.
Now, following today's signature with Ethiopia, five such joint declarations have been signed with partner countries on the African continent including: Cape Verde, Morocco, Tunisia (Mobility Partnerships) and Nigeria (Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility).
For more information
More information on Common Agendas on Migration and Mobility (CAMMs) and Mobility Partnerships
More information on EU-Ethiopia cooperation
More info on Valletta Summit