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Document 52013DC0292

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Maximising the Development Impact of Migration The EU contribution for the UN High-level Dialogue and next steps towards broadening the development-migration nexus

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COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Maximising the Development Impact of Migration The EU contribution for the UN High-level Dialogue and next steps towards broadening the development-migration nexus /* COM/2013/0292 final */


Maximising the Development Impact of Migration The EU contribution for the UN High-level Dialogue and next steps towards broadening the development-migration nexus

1.           Introduction

The High-level Dialogue (HLD) on International Migration and Development in September 2006 was the first-ever high-level event organised by the United Nations General Assembly devoted exclusively to discussing the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development. The second HLD will take place on 3-4 October 2013.

Migration is increasingly coming into sharp focus on the global agenda and is recognised as a powerful vehicle for boosting development in both countries of origin and destination. This is illustrated inter alia by the 2012 report of the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, ‘Realizing the Future We Want for All’, which recognises migration as a key dimension of global population dynamics and an enabler for inclusive economic and social development.

The increased regional and global mobility of persons, the structural changes in the global economy, and the current economic crisis generate new opportunities and challenges for countries of origin, transit and destination. The 2013 HLD provides a unique opportunity to work towards a global agenda for effective, inclusive migration governance and identify measures that promote the role of migrants as agents of innovation and development. The overall theme of the 2013 HLD is ‘Identifying concrete measures to strengthen coherence and cooperation at all levels, with a view to enhancing the benefits of international migration for migrants and countries alike and its important links to development, while reducing its negative implications’[1].

Maximising the positive impact of migration on development is an important policy priority for the EU, as demonstrated by its dual policy framework in this area. Migration and development is one of the four priority areas of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM)[2], which provides the overarching framework for the EU external migration policy. Migration is also a specific priority in the EU Agenda for Change[3], which outlines the EU development policy framework. The migrant’s perspective is a central feature of the GAMM, and enhancing the human rights of migrants is a priority across all EU actions on migration and development.

The purpose of this Communication is twofold. It provides the basis for a common position of the EU and its Member States (hereafter the EU) at the HLD, including key messages for enhanced global cooperation. Section 2-5 is therefore structured according to the themes that will be discussed at the four round tables of the HLD. Furthermore, in section 6 the Communication proposes how the EU could broaden the link between migration and development in its own policies and practices, and take steps to give systematic attention to the role migration and mobility play in the process of sustainable development. This section therefore responds to the Council’s request for a more ‘ambitious and forward-looking’ approach to migration and development at EU level, as formulated in the Council conclusions of 29 May 2012 on the GAMM.

2.           Roundtable 1: Assessing the effects of international migration on sustainable development and identifying relevant priorities in view of the preparation of the post-2015 development framework

2.1.        The need for a broader view of the link between migration and development

The discourse on migration and development has traditionally focused on a limited number of issues, including remittances, diaspora, brain drain and circular migration, with priority attached to migration towards OECD countries, rather than migration between low- and middle-income countries. Policies and their implementation in these ‘traditional’ areas, including at EU level, can still be improved[4], but it is necessary to go a step further, as this approach is insufficient to address comprehensively all issues at stake.

All countries in the world are experiencing population movements and this trend is likely to accentuate. Of the estimated 214 million international migrants in the world today, most (150 million) are citizens of non-OECD countries. Most international migration occurs within regions, mainly in the developing world. For example, it is estimated that over 80 % of all African migrants reside in other African countries.

Furthermore, migration within developing countries is an important yet often ignored phenomenon, producing opportunities and challenges similar to international migration.

Beyond the close link with migration, development also fosters and relies on mobility (short-term visits of business people, workers, students, tourists, people visiting their families, etc.). Mobility is an essential element in strengthening the role of urban centres in the global South as development hubs and nodes of economic, social and cultural exchange, and contributes to the integration of developing economies into regional and global markets.

Forced migration remains a global challenge. The large majority of the world’s total refugee population of over 15 million lives in developing countries, often in protracted situations, which presents significant challenges for host communities. But the presence of refugees and other forced migrants can also result in new opportunities and benefits for national and local economies through refugees’ human capital, including by providing labour skills and creating demand for goods and services. Measures to harness the potential of refugees to drive development improve their self-reliance, and thereby strengthen the quality of refugees’ protection to the benefit of also the host countries.

Climate change and environmental degradation are already exerting an increasing influence on migration and mobility, with current evidence suggesting that in the future most movements will occur either within or between developing countries[5].

Migration and mobility have a profound impact in both positive and negative terms on progress towards sustainable economic, social and environmental development of both low- and middle-income countries of origin and destination:

· For countries of origin, the economic benefits of migration are well-documented and include contributions to poverty reduction through remittance transfers and diaspora investment initiatives. Financial, human and social capital from the diaspora can also directly contribute to meeting social development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on health and education. Likewise, remittances and other migrant contributions can help improve adaptation to adverse impacts of climate change in communities of origin. Job opportunities abroad can also help motivate the young to acquire the appropriate skills. However, the human development implications are complex, as demonstrated by concerns about brain drain and the negative social consequences of migration for those left behind. For example, migration may have a negative impact on health MDGs by contributing to brain drain and to the unequal global distribution of health workers.

· For destination countries, well-managed migration can help bridge labour market gaps, provide labour to fuel structural economic transformation, drive innovation through migrants’ dynamism, and contribute to social security systems. Migration and mobility may pose challenges for managing urbanisation, but they are also vital for the functioning of cities as centres of growth. In the absence of effective governance, the costs of migration may be significant, and can include social tensions with host populations – often exploited by populist forces – and pressure on scarce resources. Uncontrolled migration may also aggravate security threats, especially in fragile states.

Migration is therefore both an opportunity and a challenge for development. It has undoubtedly had a positive impact on efforts to achieve many of the MDGs. However, the detrimental effects of poorly-managed migration may also undermine progress towards sustainable development.

2.2.        Migration and the post-2015 development framework

The Commission welcomes the growing interest in adding development enablers such as migration and mobility to the UN post-2015 development agenda[6]. It also welcomes discussion on whether it is possible to develop indicators on the quality of various aspects of migration governance. Every effort must be made to ensure that HLD input on these issues is relevant for and brought into this broader post-2015 process.

In this context, discussions on population dynamics in the post-2015 agenda and the International Conference on Population and Demography Beyond 2014 review are good opportunities to address the challenges and opportunities that migration and mobility create for development, including links with global labour market developments, broader demographic trends in different regions and population movements within developing countries.

2.3.        Key messages to the HLD

· Migration and mobility must be recognised as ‘enabling factors’ for development. They should be addressed by development actors at all levels and introduced into the post-2015 development framework. Promoting effective migration governance is essential to maximise the positive and minimise the negative impacts of migration on development.

· The development and migration agenda should be broadened[7]. The growing importance of migratory flows within and between developing countries should be recognised, and their positive and negative links with economic and social development should be addressed in national and regional development policies.

· The interlinkages between climate change, environmental degradation and migration require enhanced consideration, notably within a development context.

3.           Roundtable 2: Measures to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of all migrants, with particular reference to women and children as well as to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons and to ensure orderly, regular and safe migration

3.1.        Human rights of all migrants

Respect for the rights of migrants and refugees is a key component of EU policies. The EU has advanced policies on protecting migrants’ rights. In the last decade, the EU has adopted a series of directives aimed at ensuring equal treatment in areas such as employment, education and training. Equality is enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which apply both to EU citizens and to non-EU nationals.

EU migration rules have imposed unparalleled standards on social security rights for migrants. For example, after five years of legal residence, provided they meet certain conditions, non-EU nationals acquire the same social security, social assistance and social protection rights as EU nationals have[8].

The EU is committed to fight racism, xenophobia and discrimination of migrants and of people with a migrant background (such as second and third generations migrants), and to ensure fair treatment of non-EU nationals, and to promote an integration policy that grants rights and obligations comparable to those of EU citizens. The EU has developed several instruments to support the integration of legally-residing migrants, including the European Fund for Integration, a European website on integration, the European Integration Forum and the ‘Handbook on Integration for policy-makers and practitioners’.

The EU is committed to promoting the same high standards in its external migration policy. Strengthening the protection of the human rights of migrants is a cross-cutting priority in its cooperation with non-EU countries. The EU is committed to help strengthening integration policies and to promoting the protection of migrants’ and refugees’ rights in and by partner countries. This includes strengthening access to fundamental and other rights, such as access to education and healthcare, the right to work, and the right of free movement, the eradication of statelessness, the elimination of arbitrary detention of migrants, access to justice and equal treatment with nationals on employment issues.

Upholding the rights of migrants is addressed through a comprehensive international legal and normative framework. Core texts which must be applied for migrants as well as nationals include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol to that Convention, the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, Convention on Rights of the Child, the two UN Palermo Protocols on Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the UN Convention against Torture, and the ILO Convention on decent work for domestic workers. However, significant efforts are still required to better implement internationally agreed frameworks and enforce the protection of human rights of migrants, in particular at national and regional levels. In this context, it would be important to develop policies and take actions to promote the human rights of people in an irregular situation.

EU Member States have not signed the 1990 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The insufficient distinction in the Convention between the economic and social rights of regular and irregular migrant workers is not in line with national and EU policies, and has therefore become a fundamental obstacle. However, when it comes to substance, EU instruments provide far-reaching protection for both regular and irregular migrants, and safeguards that are often broader than those provided by the Convention. In the longer term, there may be scope for reviewing the current composite normative framework, including the option of working towards a new convention that addresses the rights of all migrant workers, adapted to the realities and challenges of the 21st century.

3.2.        Orderly, regular and safe migration

The Commission launched the EU Immigration Portal[9] in 2011 to inform migrants about their rights and about immigration procedures. The portal provides information for non-EU nationals interested in moving to the EU. It offers practical information about procedures in every Member State for each category of migrant. The EU is also considering supporting the establishment of dedicated Migration and Mobility Resource Centres in certain partner countries with the aim to facilitate pre-departure, return and reintegration measures.

Mixed movements, in which people with various backgrounds and needs are using the same routes and means of transport, create challenges for states with regard to screening the needs of the different groups. It is crucial that authorities, while managing these flows, ensure that people who need international protection get it; and that irregular migrants are treated with dignity and are not criminalised.

Migrants in an irregular situation are often more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Irregular migration limits the potential of migrants to support their countries of origin and increases the likelihood of negative development outcomes for destination countries.

The EU is strongly committed to enforcing legislation and policies intended to reduce irregular immigration. It fosters routes for legal migration and aims to prevent and combat irregular migration, including through border management and return and readmission policies. The EU also takes action to sanction those who abuse migrants. The Employer Sanctions Directive of 2009 is a key instrument that includes provisions to reduce legal ambiguity and prevent the exploitation of irregular migrants. This Directive does not provide for any sanctions against irregularly-staying migrant workers, but focuses on employers who abuse migrants in vulnerable situations.

The EU also assists developing countries in strengthening their policies and capacities to ensure orderly, regular and safe migration. It supports the decent work agenda and social protection and encourages policies to facilitate regional labour mobility. It also promotes Integrated Border Management as a means of establishing open and secure borders and promoting the respect of rights at the border, including the right to seek asylum.

Further international attention should be given to the assistance and protection needs of migrants caught up in dire humanitarian and life-threatening situations and distress, whether en route or during stay in host countries. Particular consideration should be given to women and children or others who are in a particularly vulnerable situation.

3.3.        Trafficking in Human Beings

The EU’s commitment to prevent and combat migrant smuggling as well as work towards eradicating trafficking in human beings (THB) has been reflected in numerous initiatives, measures and funding programmes in place since the 1990s. The 2011 adoption of the Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims[10] constituted a major step forward. The Directive not only focuses on law enforcement, but also aims to prevent crime and ensure that victims of trafficking are protected and given an opportunity to recover and reintegrate into society. Furthermore, the EU’s 2012 strategy on the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings[11] included measures to ensure better cooperation and coordination among those working in the field of THB, including governments, civil society and international organisations. Future actions will include funding of research and projects, establishing platforms, developing guidelines and best practices, training, etc.

THB is also a priority for the EU’s external cooperation, and is systematically addressed in agreements and partnerships with non-EU countries and in all EU dialogues on migration and mobility.

3.4.        Key messages to the HLD

· All States should ensure the protection of the human rights of migrants as a cross-cutting policy priority, and should uphold the relevant international human rights instruments.

· All states should respect the dignity and uphold the fundamental and human rights of migrants, regardless of the migrants’ legal status. They should make a commitment to protect and empower asylum-seekers and vulnerable migrants, such as unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking, women and children.

· All states should develop national policies for integrating migrants into their societies and for preventing and counteracting xenophobia and discrimination, including for people with a migrant background. They should take firm action against all forms of exploitative employment of both legal and irregular migrants, including by implementing effective sanctions against employers of irregular foreign workers.

· All states should ratify and implement the international instruments on fighting smuggling and trafficking in human beings. National and regional anti-human trafficking policies should be established or upgraded and cooperation on prevention, prosecution of traffickers and the protection of victims of trafficking should be reinforced.

· The importance of providing (potential) migrants with information about immigration procedures, their rights and the economic and social conditions in the intended country of destination should be underlined.

4.           Roundtable 3: Strengthening partnerships and cooperation on international migration, mechanisms to effectively integrating migration into development policies and promoting coherence at all levels

4.1.        Partnership and cooperation

Effective international partnerships between countries are essential to maximise the positive impacts of migration on countries of origin, destination and on migrants themselves.

The EU engages in comprehensive dialogue and cooperation with a broad range of non-EU countries and regions. Such cooperation covers all four equally important areas of the GAMM: i) enhancing legal migration and facilitating mobility, ii) preventing and combatting irregular migration and trafficking in human beings, iii) maximising the development impact of migration and mobility and iv) promoting international protection.

The EU has established regional and bilateral dialogues on migration and mobility with its neighbours and other priority partners, allowing the identification of joint priorities for cooperation along migration routes. Two specific bilateral frameworks, Mobility Partnerships and Common Agendas on Migration and Mobility, have been put in place to enable deeper and tailor-made policy dialogues and operational cooperation on all GAMM areas with partner countries. Relevant legal instruments are being negotiated and implemented, including visa-facilitation agreements (together with readmission agreements) to facilitate people-to-people contacts between the EU and its priority partners. Numerous programmes and activities are being financed

All policy dialogues on migration and development should be inclusive and, where appropriate, involve non-governmental actors such as the private sector, employers’ and workers’ organisations, academia and civil society, as well as migrants’ and human rights organisations.

4.2.        Integrating migration into development policies

Integrating immigration and emigration aspects into development strategies at all levels is a vital first step to promoting governance frameworks for maximising the development potential of migration and mobility. However, progress remains inadequate, in particular at the level of partner country strategies, such as Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs).

‘Mainstreaming migration’ into national development strategies needs to be further promoted. By taking the development model, objectives and priorities of partner countries as a starting point, exercises to embed migration into national and sectorial development strategies can significantly improve ownership, sustainability and coherence of actions to maximise the development impact of migration. Actions should be based on a multi-stakeholder approach, bringing together all relevant ministries.

Further progress is also required at the donor level, including the Commission. The Commission has taken great strides towards integrating migration as a priority area for external cooperation, committing almost EUR 1 billion to more than 400 migration-related projects between 2004 and 2012. EU external cooperation has achieved significant results on capacity building for migration management in line with EU external migration policy and poverty reduction objectives.

However, given the reality of increased human mobility, further efforts are required to ensure that EU development initiatives in sectors such as employment, human rights, trade, agriculture and environment are based on full recognition of the potential of well-managed migration and mobility as development enablers.

To support work on developing a shared understanding of the importance of migration among development actors, more data is needed on how migration can drive or hinder progress towards achieving development goals, especially in sectors most influenced by demographics and labour issues. Tools to translate this knowledge into operational guidance are also needed; otherwise political commitments on mainstreaming migration will remain unfulfilled.

The Commission pioneered the use of migration profiles for development programming in 2005 as effective tools to develop comparable data and support policy-making on migration. Short migration profiles can provide useful sources of comparable data on migration flows, e.g. by using the core indicators developed by the Global Migration Group (GMG) and the guide on ‘Migration Profiles – making the most of the process’.

In recent years, the EU has strongly supported ‘Extended Migration Profiles’, which bring together all stakeholders in a country-specific process. Ownership is in the hands of the partner country and sustainability is ensured through related capacity-building. The Commission is committed to supporting partner countries that want to use Extended Migration Profiles to better understand the full impact of migration on their economic, social and environmental development as a basis for more targeted policy actions.

Effective policy coherence is of key importance for effective integration of migration into development policies and should be pursued at and between all relevant levels, including national frameworks such as the PRSPs, but also at regional, local and multilateral levels. The EU itself can provide a good example of how regional cooperation can promote Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) on migration. The obligation for PCD is embedded in the EU Treaty and a number of operational tools have been developed to implement this, including bi-annual reporting[12].

Development planning carried out by local authorities warrants greater attention in discussions on migration and development. The role of city administrations is pivotal, as increasing migration and urbanisation are linked issues which have a significant impact on societies worldwide. Cities have the potential to act as catalysts of social change. But cities in the global South also face significant challenges, including in achieving sustainable urbanisation. The exchange of knowledge and experience between cities on issues such as labour market access, integration, urban planning and infrastructure, notably as ways of promoting the contributions migrants can make to the city/region, should be encouraged, e.g. by creating a dedicated worldwide network of cities and urban regions on these issues.

4.3.        Multilateral coherence in migration governance

The Commission recognises the significant contribution made by the Special Representative to the Secretary General on international migration and development (SRSG) to promoting migration-development issues as well as the potential role of the GMG as the inter-agency coordination body on migration. Stepping up coordination on migration related issues between all relevant UN agencies could make a serious contribution to a more coherent global policy on migration and development. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), as the leading international organisation active in this field should take a proactive role to enhance coordination with the UN system. The SRSG can play an important role for that purpose, notably to ensure effective interface management within the UN system, including with the GMG.The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) has proved to be a valuable forum for frank and open discussions and has strengthened the dialogue and exchange with civil society, including migrant organisations. It has established trust among participating stakeholders thanks to the informal character of the process, which should be maintained. Further progress could be made regarding follow-up to and monitoring the implementation of GFMD recommendations. Also, in line with the priorities of the 2014 GFMD Chair, further efforts should be made to strengthen the development focus of the GFMD.

The EU will continue to be an active and determined partner in multilateral cooperation. As a legal entity with specific competences in the field of migration and development, and in accordance with its Lisbon Treaty, the EU should play an appropriate role in all relevant international migration bodies.

4.4.        Key messages to the HLD

· All states should engage in international dialogue and cooperation with relevant partners to identify shared priorities and strengthen bilateral and regional migration governance. Effective engagement of civil society in global, regional, national and local planning on migration and development must also be pursued.

· Donors and other development actors should effectively integrate migration and mobility issues into their development policies and instruments. Further evidence on the links between human mobility and development should be collected, and operational tools to support migration mainstreaming further developed.

· In order to maximise the benefits of migration for development, more work is needed to provide a sufficient knowledge base. Consensus should be sought on the types of data and reporting needed to provide reliable and comparable overviews of migration issues at regional and global levels. Mechanisms for sharing national data, such as migration profiles, should be explored. Initiatives to support developing countries in strengthening their capacity to collect and analyse data on the links between migration, mobility and development should be encouraged. Effective coordination in the area of data collection and research at global level should be promoted.  

· UN agencies and international organisations should commit to a fully integrated and coordinated international migration agenda, in order to minimise overlapping competencies and waste of scarce resources.

5.           Roundtable 4: International and regional labour mobility and its impact on development

5.1.        Labour mobility

The EU is a unique example of how regional integration can be achieved and how it contributes to development. It has built a single economic space and a single area of free movement, where more than 480 million European citizens can travel, study, work and reside. The EU is progressively building an integrated EU labour market and has established systems for the recognition of professional qualifications and the transferability of social and pension rights between Member States. Intra-EU labour mobility has produced numerous benefits, including further economic convergence and sharing of skills between Member States, more intra-EU remittance transfers and less pressure on labour markets facing high unemployment. EU law instruments[13] grant non-EU nationals mobility rights that allow them to live and to work in another Member State.

In the highly competitive and globalised economy of today, and despite the current high unemployment figures in the EU, inward labour migration of non-EU nationals will also have a role in the EU’s efforts to develop a highly-skilled, adaptable workforce that can meet the challenges of demographic and economic change. The EU is committed to making best use of its domestic workforce, including migrants already legally residing in the EU, while opening pathways for legal economic migration in areas in which labour and skills shortages are emerging.

With increasing international (labour) mobility, work needs to be stepped up in areas such as recognition of foreign qualifications, exploring the portability of pension rights and other welfare entitlements, including, where possible, at international level. For example, the Social Protection Inter-Agency Board, which was agreed by the G20 in 2011, should consider addressing the issue of social protection of migrants.

Regional labour mobility is also a key migration feature in developing regions, representing a vital livelihood strategy. Labour mobility contributes to a better match between supply and demand on the labour market. As shifts in the distribution of global wealth progress, several developing countries are increasingly becoming destination countries for inter-regional labour migration. Indeed, the global economic crisis caused increased labour mobility from EU Member States to certain Latin American and African countries. However, governance frameworks for labour migration in many low- and middle-income destination countries are still weak and should be strengthened to promote the development impact of migration and ensure adequate protection and decent working standards for migrant workers.

Specific attention should also be given to the role of regional organisations in this area, as they are well-placed to improve the governance of regional labour mobility. The EU is keen to share its experience in managing labour mobility, including with regional organisations in low- and middle income countries.

5.2.        Key messages to the HLD

· All states should review existing barriers to human mobility, with a view to remove barriers which are not justified from a security point of view and are unnecessarily hindering economic competitiveness and regional integration. Particular attention should be paid to facilitating access of bona fide travellers and reducing the costs of obtaining documents and recruitment fees. In this context, the convening of a conference on international labour mobility and development in the framework of the UN should be considered.

· Processes and regional organisations involved in promoting orderly intra-regional migration and mobility between developing countries should be supported.

· Intra-regional labour mobility, skills development programmes and skills certification and recognition schemes should be promoted, especially in sectors where there is a shortage of trained personnel and which could benefit from migrant workers. In parallel, reliable overviews of trends in skills needs across regions[14] are needed, to inform the skills development programmes and mobility opportunities.

· Circular migration should be facilitated to promote the economic and social development of countries of origin and destination.

· Effective access to social security in host countries as well as the portability of social and pension rights should be promoted, including via bilateral or regional agreements, as this could facilitate mobility and circular migration as well as serving as a disincentive for irregular work.

6.           What the EU should do: next steps for broadening the development-migration nexus

The above key messages are addressed to the global community. However, a lot can and should be done within the context of the EU’s own policies and programmes.

Under the EU’s external migration policy, significant progress has already been achieved in maximising the impact of migration to the EU for the development of countries of origin. The EU is committed to continuing work on ‘traditional’ areas of the agenda (remittances, diaspora, brain drain, circular migration).

However, the challenges and opportunities partner countries face regarding the development-migration nexus are broader and more complex than those addressed so far. The Commission will ensure that future EU action on migration and development becomes truly comprehensive, addressing the full range of positive and negative impacts of the various forms that migration can have on sustainable economic, social and environmental development in low- and middle-income countries of origin and destination. This requires a shift in focus, to place development concerns at the heart of action. Translating this holistic approach into action requires measures, notably in the context of EU development policy, that better address a number of issues, including by:

· Extending action under the ‘traditional’ areas of migration and development to the South-South context, especially by identifying means to facilitate remittance flows between developing countries and supporting research to better understand the role of diasporas residing in low- and middle-income countries as development actors in their countries of origin.

· Exploring ways to reduce costs and increase the benefits of migration and mobility for low- and middle-income countries of destination, with a particular focus on intra-regional flows. In this regard, coherence between national employment policies and active labour migration should be promoted.

· Deepening understanding of the social and economic consequences of migration for development, especially in sectors such as health, education, employment and agriculture.

· Taking steps to fully integrate forced migration into the development-migration agenda and ensure that refugees and other forced migrants are included in long-term development planning. In particular, the Commission will work towards and advocate for the integration of protracted refugee situations into the development agenda to ensure that their situation and possible positive contribution is considered by host governments so as to prevent future displacements and strengthen efforts to find durable solutions.

· Further exploring and addressing the links between climate change, environmental degradation and migration, including the importance of climate change adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in reducing displacement, and the role of migration as a strategy to strengthening adaptation and DRR.

· Further exploring the links between mobility and development, including the relationship between internal and international mobility and between mobility and urbanisation.

In addition, under the GAMM and the Agenda for Change, the Commission will promote migration governance and effective policy coherence at all levels, to harness the potential of migration and mobility as development enablers. In particular, the Commission will:

i.             Promote the mainstreaming of migration into development strategies. As regards the EU’s own development cooperation, the Commission will continue targeted thematic funding and will redouble its efforts to integrate the migration dimension into development initiatives in other sectors wherever relevant. In addition, it is ready to assist developing countries with migration mainstreaming, including by supporting Extended Migration Profiles and national migration strategies.

ii.            Strengthen migration governance and cooperation in and between developing countries, in particular at regional level, to improve development outcomes for countries of origin, transit and destination. The Commission is ready to support capacity building in all relevant areas, including by sharing its expertise on protecting migrants’ human rights, integration, labour migration systems, asylum and international protection, tackling human smuggling and trafficking, Integrated Border Management, etc. Such measures should be fully in line with the migration-related objectives of relevant development strategies.

iii.           Further promote the migrant-centred approach as a cross-cutting priority of all EU actions on migration and development, which must aim to support migrants in becoming more effective development actors. Initiatives should be based on an awareness of the impact of these actions at individual and community level, including on migrants themselves, host communities and those left behind.

The Commission will report on progress made on the initiatives outlined above in its GAMM Report, published every other year, as well as in its reporting on the implementation of the Agenda for Change.

7.           Conclusion

The EU has created an area of free movement of people between the countries of Europe that is seen as a source of inspiration by many across the globe. In the spirit of partnership, it has pioneered an external migration policy that is balanced and comprehensive. It is the world’s leading donor of development assistance and will continue to provide substantial support in the years to come. The EU stands ready to share its experience with interested countries and organisations. The EU expresses the hope that the 2013 HLD will mark the beginning of a new era of global cooperation on migration and development.

The Commission calls on all relevant agencies and international organisations in the field of migration and development to pursue a more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approach at global level. It is necessary to enable the global community to capitalise on opportunities and to tackle the challenges associated with international migration. In today’s globalised world, all countries face similar challenges, also in relation to migration and development. Yet, countries will approach the situation in different ways, since their priorities, size and demographic and economic characteristics vary. International cooperation is therefore necessary to ensure that people moving in search of a better life are able to exercise their rights in a safe environment.

The Commission calls on development policy makers and practitioners to step up their engagement in strengthening the development-migration nexus, both by better integrating migration and mobility issues in development programming and through stronger participation in relevant international fora. Development processes rely on mobility, which is necessary to ensure efficient labour matching and facilitates transfers of social, financial and human capital. Development also fosters mobility, providing greater resources for people to migrate in search of opportunities. A number of processes will further drive mobility in the future, including global wealth shifts, regional and global economic integration, and environmental degradation related to climate change. If it is to be fit for the 21st century, development thinking must therefore fully integrate the role of migration and mobility as development enablers, and recognise the essential role of effective migration governance in limiting the potential negative impacts of migration on development.

Finally, the Commission calls on migration policy makers and practitioners to take full account of development concerns in migration policy and step up their responsibility in ensuring respect for and protection of the human rights of all migrants through all dimensions of migration governance. Migration and mobility is about freedom. It is about giving each and every individual the opportunity and the ability to influence his or her life situation, economically and socially. The impact of respecting human rights goes far beyond the individual migrant, as it also benefits both the home society and the society in which migrants live and work. Empowering individuals to accede their rights is a winning strategy, both for effective migration governance and for sustainable development.

The 2013 HLD should contribute towards meeting today’s global challenges, especially by promoting the inclusion of migration and mobility as a visible cross-cutting priority in the post-2015 development framework, and a recognised enabler of global development.

[1]               UN General Assembly Resolution 67/219 of 21 December 2012.

[2]               COM(2011) 743 final: Communication on The Global Approach to Migration and Mobility

[3]               COM(2011) 637 final: Communication on Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change

[4]               The Commission Staff Working Document on Migration and Development (SEC(2011) 1353 final) attached to the Commission Communication on the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility of 18 November 2011 includes a number of suggestions in this area.

[5]               SWD(2013) 138 final: Commission Staff Working Document on Climate Change, Environmental Degradation, and Migration

[6]               The European Commission's position on the post-2015 development agenda is further elaborated in COM(2013) 92 final: Communication on "A Decent Life For All: Ending Poverty and Giving the World a Sustainable Future"

[7]               Steps to be taken at EU level in this regard are described in section 6.

[8]               Article 11 of Council Directive 2003/109/EC concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long term residents, OJ L16, 23.1.2004.


[10]             2011/36/EU.

[11]             COM(2012) 286 final.

[12]             Commission Staff Working Paper entitled "EU 2011 Report on Policy Coherence for Development” SEC(2011) 1627 final.

[13]             The Long-Term Residence Directive (2003/109/EC) or the Blue Card Directive (2009/50/EC).

[14]             The EU has put in place a Skills Panorama for this purpose (under further development):