EC claims headway in tackling African migration

By on 19/10/2016 | Updated on 24/09/2020
Federica Mogherini, European Union's high representative on foreign affairs

The European Commission has hailed the early results of a new initiative to tackle the root causes of migration in a number of priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Commission yesterday published the first progress report on implementation of the so-called ‘partnership framework’, claiming the venture was “starting to bear fruit”.

The partnership framework was launched in June as part of the European Agenda on Migration, the bloc’s umbrella programme for tackling the migrant crisis.

Its aim is to address irregular migration at source in priority countries of origin – initially Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ethiopia – by supporting home governments in tackling the many factors that lead to and exacerbate the problem.

Since the European Council endorsed the framework in June, the EU’s high representative on foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, said activity had been pursued on a number of fronts, including 10 high-level visits by EU commissioners and ministers to begin the work of establishing partnerships with individual governments.

Mogherini said this had led to a number of specific actions, such as efforts by Niger to dismantle trafficking routes around the city of Agadez. In Mali and Senegal she said efforts had been focused on strengthening the civil registry systems to increase the return rates of migrants, while in Nigeria Mogherini said negotiations would soon open on a new readmission agreement.

“Migration … has to be managed in a coordinated, sustainable, jointly responsible and human way,” she said. “Tackling the root causes of migration, ensuring adequate protection for people on the move, reducing the number of irregular migrants as well as improving cooperation on return and readmission, fighting smugglers and traffickers of human beings, are all integral parts of the common work we have started to develop with our partners.”

Nevertheless, Mogherini acknowledged that there was no “quick fix” to the crisis, and the report itself noted that the pace of action in the five countries varied due to their differing social, economic and political conditions.

The European Council will consider a further assessment of the programme in December, with the possibility of adding additional countries to the framework at this point.

Separately, a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council agreed to press ahead with implementation of the European global strategy on foreign and security policy presented to the European Council in June.

This identified migration as an integral long-term element of the EU’s foreign policy and set out a number of priorities other than the partnership framework that the bloc will pursue in the coming years to address the crisis.

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See also:

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Managing the EU Migration Crisis

Hungarian poll further blow to EU migrant dispersal plan

New coordinating unit to meet Greek migrant health challenge

About Ben Willis

Ben Willis is a journalist and editor with a varied background reporting on topics including public policy, the environment, renewable energy and international development. His work has appeared in a variety of national newspapers including the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Times, as well as numerous specialist business, policy and consumer publications.

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