During the last decade, the need for a common, global immigration policy has been widely recognised and encouraged by the European Commission and the EU's Member States. Working with third countries is a key element of the EU's common approach, which has been defined and developed In accordance with Tampere and the Hague Programme. At Hampton Court in October 2005, Heads of State and Government once again identified immigration as a key area for future work, inviting the Union and the Member States to further develop a common and global approach.
Today's Communication seeks to address what next steps are needed to build on the important work already undertaken to achieve a Common Immigration Policy. The Communication is therefore both an appraisal of achievements and progress made in this area - including an Interim Progress Report on the Global Approach to Migration - as well as looking forward to challenges ahead. Its main aim is to maintain the direction of travel and commitment toward a common and comprehensive immigration policy.
To better meet the current challenges of immigration in the medium and long term, the Communication highlights how the EU needs to develop a new consensus and a more integrated approach to immigration. A new approach is needed so that immigration policy strikes the right balance between labour market shortages, economic impacts, social consequences, integration policies and external policy objectives. In addition, it highlights that the concerns of EU citizens in this area need to be addressed. This approach fully respects the competencies of Member States and does not confer new powers to the EU.
In its annex, the Communication includes an Interim Progress Report on the Global Approach to Migration.
Interim progress report on the Global Approach to Migration
Since the Global Approach to Migration was adopted by the European Council in 2005, and then confirmed by the 2006 Council, the EU has played a pioneering role internationally by promoting a comprehensive and balanced approach in dealing with migration issues in partnership with third countries. The Global Approach aims to formulate comprehensive and coherent policies that address the broad range of migration-related issues, bringing together different policy areas - development, social affairs and employment, external relations and justice and home affairs - and taking both short term actions as well as a longer term vision to address the root causes of migration and forced migration. The Global Approach has a strong theme of working in partnership with countries of origin and transit: its key concepts are partnership, solidarity and shared responsibility.
The Interim Progress Report on the Global Approach to Migration gives an overview of progress made in implementing the Global Approach during 2007. The Commission is encouraged by the progress made with regard to Africa and the Mediterranean, in particular the EU missions to African and the Mediterranean countries as well as the progress on the application of this Global Approach to the Eastern and South-Eastern neighbouring regions. Work continues to further enhance dialogue and cooperation on migration issues with sub-Saharan and North Africa. In addition, the work with the eastern and south-eastern regions neighbouring the EU, extends the geographical scope of the Global Approach.
The report is not intended to be an exhaustive review, but gives an idea of the important developments and progress made in 2007 in this area. They include:
- A meeting of senior officials was held in Madrid in June to discuss progress in implementing the Rabat action plan, and to plan the way towards the next ministerial conference;
- The European Commission and the African Union Commission produced a roadmap to take forward the Tripoli Declaration, which was endorsed by the EU-Africa Ministerial Troika in October;
- Dialogue on the basis of Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement has been intensified with Sub-Saharan African countries via EU missions to Cape Verde, Ghana, Mauritania, Senegal and Ethiopia, organised under the joint chair of the Commission and the Presidency in extended troika format;
- Cooperation with Libya has been stepped up, with the EU looking at ways in which help could be offered to Libya to manage migration flows to the EU more effectively;
- A ministerial conference on migration was held in the framework of EuroMed on 19 November;
- In September, the Commission issued a report on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), which looked a the degree to which migration policy has been integrated into development policy;
- The AENEAS programme has continued to fund several projects that promote the links between migration and development;
- Migration profiles have been developed further, as a tool to help gather and analyse all information relevant to migration in any given country - a full set of migration profiles were put together with the Western Balkans countries and Turkey;
- In July, the Commission and the Member States actively helped to prepare and then participated in the first meeting of the Global Forum on International Migration and Development, which was held in Belgium;
- The year will culminate in the EU-Africa Summit to be held in Lisbon on 8-9 December, during which Heads of State and Government will adopt a 'Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment' as part of the Joint EU-Africa Strategic Partnership.
- The Rapid Border Intervention Team (RABIT) Regulation was adopted in July 2007, and FRONTEX has worked with the Member States to develop the implementing rules and procedures for the deployment of RABITs;
- FRONTEX set up the FRONTEX Risk Analysis Network (FRAN), composed of the analytical units of Member States' border guard services, and established a system for regular exchange of information within FRAN;
- The Commission issued a Communication on Circular migration and mobility partnerships between the EU and third countries in May 2007, which was welcomed by the Council;
- Regarding the eastern and south-eastern regions, the Budapest Process has continued to foster dialogue on migration and asylum with Eastern European countries, including the Western Balkans and Turkey;
- The AENEAS programmes has funded several capacity-building projects in countries in the eastern and south-eastern regions to assist countries in managing migration and asylum;
- Biannual meetings of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, complemented by informal meetings of experts, have continued to monitor the overall implementation of the Common Space;
- Dialogue on migration issues has taken place with several Asian countries including China and India.
(Rapid Press Release)