New orientations on the external dimension of immigration and asylum policies
European Commission - MEMO/05/291 01/09/2005
Other available languages: FR
Brussels, 1 September 2005
Migration and Development
In line with the demands contained in The Hague Programme, this Communication aims to devise policies that link migration and development cooperation, in partnership with countries and regions of origin, with a special emphasis on poverty alleviation.
Migration is an increasingly important phenomenon at the global level. It is estimated that international migrants represent almost three percent of the world’s population. In some countries, however, these figures are much higher. The consequences of such flows on home countries’ development prospects can no longer be neglected. Whereas migration can sometimes be detrimental in development terms, for example when it leads to severe skill shortages – a situation that has occurred for example in the healthcare sector of some African countries – its potential positive contribution must not be underestimated. Migrants’ remittances represent a major source of foreign exchange for developing countries. Globally, they exceed by far the volume of official development assistance. Whilst it is private money, it nonetheless makes a very significant contribution to poverty alleviation. Similarly, migrants and the broader diasporas can make significant contributions to home countries’ development – not only by returning after completing their employment in developed countries, but also by investing, by participating in schemes to share their skills and know-how, and more generally through various forms of brain circulation.
The Communication on Migration and Development identifies a number of concrete orientations in the following areas:
Remittances: contributing to cheaper remittance flows – for example by fostering competition between alternative formal remittance channels – and facilitating the use of remittances for development-friendly use – for example by facilitating the access of recipients to financial intermediation services – while respecting their private nature;
Facilitating the involvement of willing diaspora members in the development of countries of origin, for example by helping these countries create skills databases where such people can register voluntarily;
Facilitating brain circulation, by encouraging temporary migration, by facilitating the return of migrants to their country of origin – for example to start up a business activity – or by making it easier for migrants to engage in development-friendly activities without returning definitively – for example through secondments or investments in countries of origin. Managed migration with a view to employment – an issue to which the Commission will come back later this year, as part of the follow-up to the January 2005 Green Paper on economic migration – can also contribute crucially to the development of countries of origin; and
Limiting the impact of brain drain, for example by encouraging Member States to limit recruitment in countries and sectors suffering from skill shortages and by fostering partnerships between institutions in developing countries and in the EU.
These orientations will be reflected in the dialogue between the EU and interested developing countries, which may lead to targeted EU assistance to these countries.
Regional Protection Programmes
The Communication on Regional Protection Programmes represents the follow-up to the Commission Communication of 14 June 2004 “Improving Access to Durable Solutions” (COM (2004) 410 final), which had made proposals for a new EU approach to the international protection regime, and responds to the Council Conclusions of 2-3 November 2004 which invited the Commission to present an action plan for one or more pilot Regional Protection Programmes, aimed at enhancing the capacity of regions of origin and better protecting the refugee population there.
The Communication outlines the general framework in which the pilot Regional Protection Programmes should operate, makes recommendations for geographic application and content and sets out a way forward for the inclusion of the Regional Protection Programme approach across the Community’s relationship with the region and countries involved. The development and the implementation of these programmes should be taken forward in close cooperation with UNHCR and, where relevant, other international organisations.
The aim of Regional Protection Programmes is to deliver direct benefits to refugees as well as to contribute to improvement of the protection and human rights situation in the host country. A programme of 5 or 6 actions will be envisaged for each Regional Protection Programme, which includes registration and other projects which are focused on the delivery of practical benefits (training, infra-structure building, the provision of equipment etc).
The first pilot Regional Protection Programme will be implemented in the Western New Independent States (Western NIS), that is to say Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. This Programme will focus on strengthening already existing protection capacity, notably by giving practical support to the examination of asylum applications, the reinforcement of subsidiary protection, integration and documentation.
The Commission will immediately initiate dialogue with several third countries in the regions of origin to identify areas where the second pilot RPP should take place in the near future.
A joint resettlement programme, to be implemented on a voluntary basis, will be an important factor in every Regional Protection Programmes in terms of delivering a Durable Solutions outcome to refugees and demonstrating the partnership element to the third countries involved.
Statistics on international protection:
1. Member States shall supply to the Commission (Eurostat) statistics on the numbers of:
(a) persons having submitted an application for international protection or being included in such an application as a family member;
(b) persons covered by applications for international protection under consideration by the responsible national authority at the end of the reference period;
(c) first instance decisions rejecting applications for international protection, including decisions considering applications as inadmissible or as unfounded;
(d) first instance decisions granting or withdrawing refugee status;
(e) first instance decisions granting or withdrawing subsidiary protection status;
(f) first instance decisions granting or withdrawing temporary protection;
(g) other first instance decisions granting, refusing or withdrawing authorisation to stay for humanitarian or other reasons under national law;
(h) applications for international protection having been withdrawn.
These statistics shall be disaggregated by age and sex, and by the citizenship of the persons concerned. They shall relate to reference periods of one calendar month and shall be supplied to the Commission (Eurostat) within two months of the end of the reference month. The first reference month shall be January 2006.
2. Member States shall supply to the Commission (Eurostat) statistics on the numbers of:
(a) applicants for international protection who are considered by the responsible national authority to be unaccompanied minors;
(b) decisions to reject applications for international protection, including decisions considering applications as inadmissible or as unfounded, taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review;
(c) decisions to grant or withdraw refugee status taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review;
(d) decisions to grant or withdraw subsidiary protection status taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review;
(e) decisions to grant or withdraw temporary protection status taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review;
(f) other decisions taken by administrative or judicial bodies in appeal or review to grant, refuse or withdraw authorisations to stay for humanitarian or other reasons under national law;
(g) requests and transfers covered by Regulation (EC) No 343/2003and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1560/2003;
(h) persons selected for resettlement in the Member State.
These statistics shall be disaggregated by age and sex, and by the
citizenship of the persons concerned. They shall relate to reference periods of
one calendar year and shall be supplied to the Commission (Eurostat) within
three months of the end of the reference year. The first reference year shall be
[Graphic in PDF & Word format]
[Graphic in PDF & Word format]
[Graphic in PDF & Word format]
Main countries of origin of asylum-seekers in the EU25 (UNHCR data)
 OJ L 222, 5.9.2003, p. 3.
 Figures for 2004 are provisional and incomplete for most Member States