Tuesday

22nd Sep 2020

Valletta leak backs legal migration and returns

  • Some 140,000 people landed in Italy after crossing the Mediterranean to seek asylum this year (Photo: iom.int)

Africa and EU leaders are set to sign off a plan next week that includes short-term measures on legal migration and returns.

The latest draft summit conclusions, dated Friday (6 November) and seen by this website, include policies around development, legal migration, asylum, migrant smuggling, and readmission.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The final conclusions will be issued following a summit next week in Malta’s capital city Valletta.

Some 90 delegations are attending the two-day meeting, including over 30 heads of state from Africa and most of the 28 EU member states.

“Rekindling hope, notably for the African youth, must be our paramount objective," notes the adjoining political statement.

African states are pushing for more legal migration to the EU. But the EU wants readmission agreements implemented and irregular migration curbed.

The broad declaration gives a nod to both.

On legal migration, it notes “efforts should be made to advance legal migration and mobility possibilities."

The summit conclusion lists two short-term legal migration projects that should be concluded before the end of 2016.

It says the number of scholarships to the EU should be doubled and also calls for the launch of pilot projects on legal migration.

On returns, the political statement gives a hard line.

“Irregular migrants who are not in need of international protection must be effectively returned to their countries of origin,” it states.

It notes “improved cooperation on return” will make in turn improve migration and mobility policy.

The plan is to send “in the first quarter of 2016” immigration officials from 10 African countries (not listed) to Europe to return people. It also says projects in origin countries should be launched to reintegrate them back into society.

Meanwhile, four short-term projects are listed under the development heading.

They include creating jobs in regions of origin and transit of migrants, linking relief, rehabilitation and development, working with remittances, and boosting African agriculture.

On asylum and international protection, it says Regional Development and Protection Programmes in the Horn of Africa and North Africa should be up and running by mid-2016.

The Horn of Africa programme, geared towards Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, is spearheaded by the Netherlands.

Some of the money will be taken from the European Commission’s directorate for home affairs. The Commission says the money will be used to register, process, and accommodate asylum seekers.

Another short-term project involves improving the “resilience, safety and self-reliance of refugees” in camps and host communities.

On migrant smuggling, the plan is to set up single national contact points and strengthen “institutional capacities to fight against the smuggling of migrants” in countries of origin and transit.

It also requests setting up a joint investigation team in Niger and launching an “information campaign” about the dangers of migrant smuggling.

Magazine

Unwanted exodus

The year when borders came back to Europe.

Opinion

If not Europe, who will help the refugees?

If the EU fails to respond effectively to the refugee crisis, damage to both Europe and international refugee protection will be irreparable.

News in Brief

  1. Italy to cut number of MPs by one third
  2. World's richest 1% 'fuelling climate crisis'
  3. Polish government at risk over animal-rights law
  4. UK 'could see 50,000 new corona cases a day'
  5. EU cuts carbon market compensation for industry
  6. Russia and US could scrap another nuclear arms treaty
  7. Turkish president sues Greek newspaper over headline
  8. Hungarian ministry wanted list of journalists' foreign trips

Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact

Michael Spindelegger, the former minister of foreign affairs of Austria and current director of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), reveals some of the proposals in the European Commission's upcoming pact on migration and asylum.

EU boosts pledges to relocate minors from Greece

Over 120 asylum seeking children and teenagers in Greece have so far been relocated to a handful of EU states in a scheme the European Commission says is a demonstration of solidarity. EU states have pledged to take in 2,000.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Borrell gives EU four weeks to save foreign policy
  2. Belarus opposition leader urges EU to be 'braver'
  3. Kyrgyzstan cannot paper over death of Azimjon Askarov
  4. 'Big Three' EP groups nominate homophobe for Sakharov prize
  5. Cyprus leaves EU ministers red-faced on Belarus
  6. EU seals new Covid-19 deal amid global distribution fears
  7. German court hears harrowing testimony of Syria torture
  8. Turkey, Belarus and migration in the EU spotlight This WEEK

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  2. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  4. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  6. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us