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Document 52006DC0735

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - The global approach to migration one year on: towards a comprehensive European migration policy

/* COM/2006/0735 final */


Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - The global approach to migration one year on: towards a comprehensive European migration policy /* COM/2006/0735 final */


Brussels, 30.11.2006

COM(2006) 735 final


The Global Approach to Migration one year on:Towards a comprehensive European migration policy

The Global Approach to Migration one year on: Towards a comprehensive European migration policy


In October 2005 Heads of State and Government discussed migration as one of the main challenges of globalisation and agreed on the urgent need to step up action. The EU was able to react quickly. Within a month, the Commission produced a plan for a comprehensive programme of action, Priority actions for responding to the challenges of migration: First follow-up to Hampton Court .[1] This Communication proposed a set of concrete measures that constituted a comprehensive approach to migration and formed the basis for further discussion by the European Council that focused on Africa and the Mediterranean region.

In December 2005, the European Council adopted the Global Approach to Migration: Priority actions focusing on Africa and the Mediterranean. The Global Approach formulates coherent policies and action on migration, addressing a vast array of migration issues and bringing together the various relevant policy areas including external relations, development, employment, and justice, freedom and security. The approach taken shows tangible, active solidarity, hinged on responsibility-sharing between Member States and with third countries.

Migration is a phenomenon of all periods of history. Today's numbers of migrants worldwide are not higher in relation to world population than during other periods of history. However, migration has become more important for Europe. In a few decades Europe has developed from a region of emigration to a major destination of immigration. According to OECD and Eurostat data, the most important migration flows from third countries into the EU in 2004 came from Romania, Morocco, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Inflows have become more diversified, with increasing numbers of immigrants from new sources in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia (especially China) and Central and Latin America (especially Ecuador). Migration from Africa has substantially increased in recent months. This development is unlikely to stop in the foreseeable future and migratory pressures may grow. At the same time, the EU will need migrants to ensure the sustainability of its labour markets given its demographic developments. The EU needs to compete with other world regions and it needs migrants with the appropriate skills to accomplish that.

This Communication has two aims. First, it responds to the European Council's invitation to the Commission to report back on progress made in implementing the first phase of the Global Approach and the priority actions focusing on Africa and the Mediterranean by the end of 2006. Second, it proposes ways to make the European Union's approach truly comprehensive . This responds to the calls to intensify efforts made by Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Tampere on 21 September and Heads of State and Government in Lahti on 20 October. It therefore suggests including other policy areas that were not part of the December 2005 Global Approach, such as legal migration and integration measures. In this way, partnership with third countries will address the full range of issues of interest and concern to all involved.

In this framework, given the urgent need to strengthen EU policies on migration and related areas, the effectiveness of decision-making procedures , including in the area of legal migration, is a necessity, since it would allow the Union to respond to citizens' expectations in this field. The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe offers the appropriate solution to the current weaknesses of the decision-making process, by applying to legal migration the rules of qualified majority voting and ordinary legislative procedure (co-decision). In the present situation, the bridging clause contained in Article 67 TEC would offer an important tool to achieve this goal, while searching for a comprehensive institutional settlement within the framework set up by the European Council of June 2006, and needs to be applied.

In an effort to further strengthen the EU’s comprehensive migration policy, the Commission set up a Group of Commissioners on migration. A similar development of bringing together different albeit related policy areas, can be witnessed in a number of Member States and this trend is to be welcomed and, where possible, encouraged.

While this Communication focuses on Africa and the Mediterranean region, comprehensiveness also needs to be translated in geographic terms in the future . Serious consideration should be given to applying the approach to other regions, in particular those at the eastern and south-eastern external borders of the EU given the challenges these migratory routes pose. Moreover, although not a short term priority, the increasing importance of migration-related issues in our relations with Asian and Latin American countries and the increased expectations of these countries for cooperation with the EU must be kept in mind. Furthermore, the recent Iberoamerican Summit called for intensifying dialogue and cooperation on migration and for giving a concrete expression in national policies, sub-regional fora and international agreements, to the Montevideo Compromise on Migration and Development. Indeed, many measures and policies described in section 3 could be applied, in a similar way, in our cooperation and dialogue with Latin America and Asia.


2006 has been a year of agenda setting with Africa. A ministerial conference on migration and development was held last July in Rabat bringing together some 60 countries along West and Central African migration routes. African and EU states participated in the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in September. An EU-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development was also held in Libya in November to formulate a joint approach to migration between the EU and the whole of Africa for the first time. 'Migration' has been a recurrent agenda item in dialogue and cooperation programmes with Mediterranean countries, building on the considerable work already carried out in the ENP framework, and the EuroMed forum has been used to further exchange best practice and work towards a joint programme of activities. It has also been on the agenda of high level meetings with the African Union and the regional organisations. Dialogue on migration issues on the basis of Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement was opened with key Sub-Saharan African states. The Rapid Reaction Mechanism has been employed to support Mauritania and Senegal in their efforts to cope with illegal migration.

In less than twelve months, work has indeed started on all of the priority actions. By the end of the year, FRONTEX will have launched and coordinated several joint maritime operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions, completed risk analyses on Africa and presented feasibility studies on establishing a Mediterranean Coastal Patrols Network and a surveillance system covering the whole southern maritime border of the EU and the Mediterranean Sea. Regional networks of Immigration Liaison Officers (ILOs) are being set up along key migration routes through Africa. The Commission issued a proposal for the establishment of Rapid Border Intervention Teams and has carried out an analysis of the international law of the sea.

A more detailed report on implementation of the Global Approach is provided in Annex B .

3. Reinforcing coherence: a comprehensive European migration policy

The comprehensive approach must be strongly based on three principles: solidarity between Member States, partnership with third countries, and the protection of migrants, in particular vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied minors and women. The following three sections suggest ways to develop this approach, both with Africa and beyond.

3.1. Strengthening dialogue and cooperation with African countries of origin and transit

3.1.1. Dialogue with African countries

The overall framework for EU cooperation with Africa is defined by the EU Strategy for Africa , which was adopted by the European Council on 15-16 December 2005. The primary aims of this Strategy are the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the promotion of sustainable development, security and good governance in Africa. Future work in the area of migration must be consistent with this Strategy, notably in the context of addressing the root causes of migration such as poverty, conflict and unemployment. Other EU policies, including trade, agriculture and fisheries, should serve the same objectives through enhanced Policy Coherence for Development (PCD).

The EU-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development hosted by Libya on 22-23 November 2006 successfully identified priorities for cooperation and adopted an ambitious declaration that paves the way for joint action between Africa and the EU at continental, regional and national level in various areas, ranging from the fight against illegal migration to facilitation of regular movements of people and action to address the root causes of migration. Africa and the EU should seriously engage in implementing the actions contained in the final declaration in order to achieve concrete results to report to the second Ministerial Conference that will be held within three years.

On a regional level, the Rabat conference held in July was also a success and paved the way for action tailored to specific migratory routes. Efforts should now be concentrated on ensuring an appropriate follow-up with a view to assessing progress at a second ministerial conference in two years’ time . Contacts between the EU and East African states should also be further promoted to develop concrete cooperation along the East Africa Migration Routes.

On the basis of the work carried out on migratory routes, the EU will foster more specific cooperation with various regions in Africa. Cooperation platforms will bring together African countries, EU Member States and international organisations in an effort to manage migration more effectively in the interests of all. This common framework could then lead to the formulation of regional agreements with interested African countries.

Dialogue and cooperation with North African countries at bilateral and regional levels will be further developed in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) . Migration issues are an essential element in our ENP Action Plans, our political dialogue and financial assistance in order to strengthen the capabilities of these countries to manage migration more effectively. Work must also continue in the context of EUROMED . Partners have agreed to give concrete follow-up to the chapter dealing with migration, social integration, justice and security of the Five Year Work programme agreed at Barcelona in November 2005. This should allow for a ministerial conference on migration to be convened in the second half of 2007.

The EU will also continue to integrate migration issues into the regular political dialogue with all ACP countries and key Regional Economic Communities (RECs) . This dialogue is based on the broad agenda of Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement, which covers a wide range of topics in the area of migration and development. On the EU side the dialogue will be led by Commission delegations and Presidency embassies in the countries concerned and involve interested Member States, in line with the provisions of Article 8 Cotonou. Where appropriate, the dialogue is further enhanced through specific Commission missions. In 2006 three of these 'article 13 missions' took place. Other key African countries will follow in 2007, including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria. A joint EU-ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) working group on migration is to meet for the first time in 2007.

The EU should also take an active role in the follow up to the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development , in particular as the global forum on migration is established. The Commission is ready and willing to contribute actively to the first meeting of this forum that is due to take place in Belgium in the summer of 2007.

3.1.2. Promoting the migration and development agenda

Turning to the migration and development agenda , the prime challenge is to tackle the main push factors for migration: poverty and the lack of job opportunities. The EU must recognise that creating jobs in developing countries could significantly reduce migratory pressure from Africa. Migrants should be supported in contributing to the development of their countries of origin. In addition, migrant remittances will continue to increase, and the Commission is exploring cooperation mechanisms in this area with institutions such as the World Bank and the European Investment Bank. Efforts will concentrate on improving data collection, reducing the transfer costs, facilitating the use of the financial sector as transfer channel and exploring ways to further enhance the impact of remittances on development policies.

The EU Programme on Migration and Development in Africa would seek to provide a short-term developmental response to the migration challenge for ACP countries. The first objective of this joint programming initiative would be to address in a serious manner the lack of decent jobs in Africa. Promoting investments in labour-intensive sectors in regions with high outward migration will be an important priority, in a wider context of facilitating intra-African labour migration and mobility. Other areas of cooperation will include remittances, brain drain, diasporas, good governance and illegal migration and trafficking in human beings. Member States will be invited to join the Commission in the programming of these actions. The Commission will reserve an amount of €40 million for the first phase of this Initiative (9th EDF resources), to be complemented by Member States' contributions. The geographical scope of the Initiative will be sub-Saharan Africa, but actions may focus on specific countries or regions and – in its first phase – notably on West Africa.

The EU must continue helping African states to build capacity to manage migration and asylum , including South-South flows, without prejudice to existing regional agreements on migration and mobility. Important initiatives are being taken in ENP countries on capacity-building, in particular with regard to border management and institutional support in order to improve the reception of migrants as well as the protection of migrants' rights. Furthermore, the Commission has proposed creating migration profiles for each interested developing country.[2] Migration profiles are a policy tool that serve to garner and analyse relevant information necessary to develop concrete measures to a given situation in the field of migration and development. Concise migration profiles are being introduced for all ACP countries as an annex to the new generation of Country Strategy Papers. Migration profiles should be established for all relevant partner countries in the medium term. This information can then be used to provide technical and financial assistance to African countries to solve the root causes of migration flows. One idea could be to establish Migration Support Teams (MISTs) composed of experts from EU Member States which could provide the necessary assistance to requesting African states. Europe should become more active and forthcoming when it comes to migration issues.

Policies on migration need to be based on reliable evidence and be coherent with other, related policies. Promoting the links between policy and research can contribute to a better understanding of migration realities and policy development. Inspired by the academic network linking migration research institutes in Mediterranean countries (CARIM), the Commission will support initiatives stimulating the establishment of a pan-African network of migration 'observatories' and/or migration research institutes .

Twinning measures should also be implemented using EC funding to assist African countries in developing their migration and asylum policies. Furthermore, Commission Delegations and Member State Missions in African countries should ensure they can deal with migration related issues, via the designation of one contact person for migration issues.

3.2. Legal migration

The further development of a common European policy on labour immigration is an important component of the Global Approach. For a truly comprehensive European migration policy, legal migration needs to be integrated into both the external and internal EU policies. Migration can contribute to meeting the changing needs of the labour market and the economic aspects of migration policy should be taken into account. On 28 November 2006 the Ecofin Council adopted conclusions on policies to increase the economic benefits for the EU from migration. As stated in the Policy Plan on Legal Migration, and in line with aims of the European Employment Strategy, the EU is taking a two-track approach for the next years: facilitate the admission of certain categories of immigrants on a needs-based approach (e.g. highly skilled and seasonal workers) without prejudice to the application of the Community preference principle and provide a common secure legal status to all legal immigrant workers.

Other actions should facilitate the matching between demand and supply of labour. The future Immigration Portal, the European Job Mobility Portal, the new 2007-2010 Guidelines for the EURES network and the European Researchers Mobility Portal are all fundamental tools to achieve this objective. Third countries will be provided with information on the legal possibilities for working in Europe, including through specific information campaigns. By fostering professional training, skills development programmes and language courses, potential migrants can enhance their chances of finding legal employment. For this purpose, specific migration centres could be established in partner countries, supported by EC funding. Such centres could also play a role in facilitating the management of seasonal workers, the exchanges of students and researchers and other forms of legal movement of people.

The potential offered by new forms of migration, in particular circular migration, should be further explored. In addition, it will be important to support the development of tools for better managing labour migration to the EU in third countries. This will require support to activities such as the reinforcement of third countries' administrative services responsible for labour migration management, capacity building of the national employment services in third countries and the development of intermediation establishments as well as the implementation of pre-immigration plans in countries of origin.

Once certain conditions have been met, such as cooperation on illegal migration and effective mechanisms for readmission, the objective could be to agree Mobility Packages with a number of interested third countries which would enable their citizens to have better access to the EU. There is a clear need to better organise the various forms of legal movement between the EU and third countries. Mobility packages would provide the overall framework for managing such movements and would bring together the possibilities offered by the Member States and the European Community, while fully respecting the division of competences as provided by the Treaty.

In the context of broader packages, establishing readmission agreements, strengthening cooperation on illegal immigration and working together on effective border management can all be prerequisites for visa facilitation. The Commission considers that facilitating mobility is an important element in a comprehensive approach to migration, particularly for the countries covered by the ENP where a serious examination of how visa procedures can be made less of an obstacle to legitimate travel to the EU, and vice versa, will be required.[3]

In developing policies that take account of the potential benefits to third countries of labour migration to Europe, the EU should be very much aware of the risks of brain drain and its socio-economic consequences on developing countries. For example, recognition of the negative effects of excessive emigration of skilled workers on the health service of a number of countries has led to the development of a coordinated EU Strategy, which includes the development of a set of principles governing ethical recruitment of health professionals and the promotion of greater self-sufficiency of health worker production within Europe to minimise future demand on fragile health systems. Similar initiatives should be taken to address (potential) skills shortages and brain drain in other sectors as well. The benefits related to brain circulation need to be given serious consideration in this context.

3.3. Integration and intercultural dialogue

The nexus between migration and integration will be a priority subject for the EU. The Commission will actively promote the implementation of the Common Agenda for Integration, building on the Common Basic Principles on integration, covering all areas of importance including labour and socio-economic, public health, cultural and political dimensions. The Commission will develop instruments that will allow for wider participation of the different stakeholders , including migrants themselves, thus contributing to the promotion of an effective integration strategy. These will include a) the establishment of an integration platform where relevant partners can exchange views on a regular basis; b) the consolidation of the role played by local authorities building on the successful 'Integrating cities: European policies, local practices' conference held in Rotterdam on 9-10 October; and c) the creation of an Integration website and new editions of the Integration Handbook and the Annual report on migration and integration.

Improving integration into the labour market is essential. The High Level Group on the Social Integration of Ethnic Minorities and their Full Access to the Labour Market is expected to present practical recommendations in 2007 that could enrich the existing polices. The EU must keep its specific focus on education of children from immigrant backgrounds and should use the framework of the Education and Training 2010 process for that purpose. More action is also required to ensure that migrants receive civic education focussed on fundamental European values and learn the language of their host country. Possible barriers to language training need to be removed as a matter of urgency. At the same time, strengthening the ability of the host society to adjust to diversity is equally important. The 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All aims to raise awareness on this issue.

Intercultural dialogue should also be used as a tool for integration. The 'European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008' will give priority to dialogue in daily life, for example in schools, sporting and cultural activities, and at work. In addition, the EU must continue supporting projects in the field of intercultural education, education of immigrants and inclusion of disadvantaged youth via relevant programmes.

3.4. Fighting illegal migration and trafficking in human beings

At EU level, the fight against illegal immigration has to be reinforced in the priority areas identified in the Commission's Communication of 19 July 2006. Priorities include the need to increase mutual trust and the exchange of information between Member States, including on regularisation of illegal immigrants, improving access control to EU territory and enacting penalties for those employers offering jobs to illegally staying third-country nationals. Although the phenomenon of undeclared work is not limited to migrants, new legislation on penalties against employers of such persons will be proposed in spring 2007 given that the chance to obtain work in the EU without the required legal status is a key pull-factor for illegal immigration. In parallel, more emphasis will be placed on the enforcement of existing legislation that would also protect migrants, in particular the directives on health and safety in the work place. In addition, states should be supported in becoming Parties to the UN Smuggling and Trafficking Protocols .

In 2007, EUROPOL will dedicate attention to combating facilitated illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings and will continue to provide operational intelligence and support and training sessions, which are open to law enforcement officers of third countries. For its part FRONTEX should, within the framework of European external relations policy, establish technical working arrangements for joint operations with relevant third countries, and invite them to participate in operational activities where appropriate. Action plans on the different migratory routes are being prepared, using the recommendations of the ILOs along the routes. ILO networks must be reinforced, with the aim of having at least one Liaison Officer in each key African country of origin and transit. In addition, Terms of Reference should be developed for an 'EU ILO', who would be able to act on behalf of several Member States.

Return and readmission will remain a fundamental part of managing migration. Member States must be supported in designing and implementing voluntary return programmes and plans for enforced return , including joint flights for removal. Supporting Member States in obtaining the necessary documentation for an immediate return and readmission of illegal migrants remains a priority. Member States have been supported financially in their efforts to improve the management of return in all its dimensions under the RETURN Preparatory Actions, the results of which will serve to focus the multi-annual programming of the future European Return Fund. In this context, it is equally important that the proposed Directive establishing common standards for Member States' return procedures is adopted as soon as possible.

Negotiations on an EC-Ukraine readmission agreement have been finalised while negotiations with Morocco are well advanced. Similar negotiations with Moldova and Algeria are expected to be formally launched soon. As part of a balanced approach and based on the dialogue on migration and visa issues foreseen in the ENP Action Plans, negotiations on readmission and visa facilitation with each neighbouring country should be envisaged, once the proper preconditions have been met. In terms of cooperation with ACP countries, the readmission obligation contained in Article 13 Cotonou is crucial, and is an appropriate basis for supplementary bilateral readmission agreements between EU Member States and selected ACP countries. Its application, however, should be considered in the wider context of Article 13.

Experiences have demonstrated that to broker a deal the EU needs to offer something in return. In their bilateral readmission negotiations Member States are increasingly offering also other forms of support and assistance to third countries to facilitate the conclusion of such agreements, and the possibilities of applying this wider approach at EU level should be explored.

Integrated management of maritime borders is an important part of the Global Approach and is the subject of a separate Communication, Reinforcing the Management of the European Union's Southern Maritime Borders.

3.5. Asylum and refugee protection

While it is important to step up efforts to tackle the issue of illegal migration, there is also the need to ensure access to asylum processes for those in mixed migratory flows who might need international protection. The proposals contained in UNHCR's '10 point plan of action' presented at the Rabat conference should be used to foster operational cooperation. It is vital to keep asylum and protection issues as one of the main elements of our wider cooperation and dialogue with third countries. The implementation of the Regional Protection Programmes, as well as activities in other areas giving support to asylum-seekers and persons in need of international protection, such as Mauritania and southern Africa, are to be continued. Funds will also be made available to finance a UNHCR-run project for protection activities in all the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.


4.1. Supporting the external dimension

As already announced in the context of the December 2005 European Council Conclusions, the Commission confirms its intention to intensify its financial assistance in areas concerning or related to migration in respect of its relations with third countries, including by an allocation of up to 3% of the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI) and comparable efforts in respect of other relevant financial instruments. Equivalent efforts will also be made in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to tackling the root causes of migration. Funding will be channelled through geographic programmes established under the relevant external assistance instruments and the thematic programme on migration and asylum.

As regards the European Development Fund (EDF), the EU Governance Initiative for ACP countries is a relevant mechanism that allows these countries to obtain substantial additional financial support to develop and implement governance reforms. Access to these 10th EDF incentive resources will depend on the outcome of a dialogue between the Commission and the partner country on the past performance and future commitments in the area of governance, including on migration. Further resources will be made available through the EU Programme on Migration and Development in Africa.

In addition, following the EU-Africa Tripoli Conference on migration and development, ways should be explored to assist those Northern African countries wishing to help alleviate migratory pressures in sub-Saharan countries through financial support to coordinate their efforts with those of the EU.

The new thematic programme on migration and asylum has been elaborated on the basis of experience gained with the Aeneas programme and builds on lessons learned. A key innovation is that the financial resources will now be allocated either geographically, taking into account the 'migratory route' concept, or transversely, through global and multiregional initiatives not exclusively linked to a single migratory route.

Finally, the objective of European territorial cooperation of Regional Policy may also offer measures that can help to manage migration together with neighbouring countries, for example through common training measures for border patrol, customs authorities and police forces, strengthened controls at ports and airports, information exchange networks on migration, capacity-building and adequate migratory legislation in the countries of origin.

More specific information regarding amounts available in the different funding instruments can be found in Annex C .

4.2. Promoting solidarity among Member States

The €4,020 million envelope allocated by the budgetary authority for the period 2007-2013 to the framework programme entitled ' Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows ' is divided into four separate financial instruments, each supporting different objectives of the management of migration flows to the EU: the External Borders Fund (€1,820 million), the Return Fund (€676 million), the European Refugee Fund (€699 million) and the Integration Fund (€825 million). For each Fund, the bulk of the resources will go directly to the Member States under shared management arrangements. These new instruments are specific and complementary to other Community funding that supports tackling issues of migration, including Regional Policy instruments.

Member States should actively take a strategic and long-term approach to the use of these resources and support national measures that promote solidarity between Member States . While the main purpose of the framework programme is to reinforce the implementation of the internal dimension of the Community policies on asylum, immigration and border controls, many of the actions are likely to favour the achievement of the objectives set out in this Communication. In order to underscore the relationship, the Commission will propose strategic guidelines that will aim to incorporate the migration policy agenda in the operational framework of each Fund. The comprehensive and multi-purpose nature of such actions will be acknowledged and the aim of the framework programme to support a continuum of actions relating to migration management in Member States reinforced.

The Commission will also ensure that the Community actions under these four Funds managed directly by the Commission provide opportunities to support Member States in the implementation of a comprehensive immigration policy by financing practical cooperation, the development of common tools and reference documents, innovative pilot projects and by offering stakeholders opportunities to contribute their specific expertise to EC policy development through policy-oriented research and activities. The Commission is also committed to exploring all possibilities to create a leverage effect with the Funds by finding financial arrangements with other stakeholders, such as the European Investment Bank.

5. Concl USIONS

The European Union must adopt a comprehensive response to the growing and evolving challenges posed by the management of migratory flows in a globalised world. 2006 has been a pilot year for the Global Approach. The EU and its Member States have succeeded in launching concrete cooperation never seen before. However, 2006 has also seen a further increase in migratory pressure on the EU, particularly on its southern borders. Actions must therefore be further increased and enhanced in a comprehensive way to increase the capabilities of the EU to face the challenges linked to migration, including by improvements in the decision-making process.

Since 1999, the European Union has taken a series of initiatives towards a common migration policy, in order to establish a common asylum policy, fight illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings, ensure fair treatment of regular migrants, and build partnerships with countries of origin and transit. The Commission is determined to proceed yet further down this road, including through making further legislative proposals to the Council and the Parliament for legal migration, including the rights of migrant workers. But the Member States must also increase their efforts, so as to ensure the swift implementation of those measures already agreed upon and to complement EU action with their own initiatives.

It is of the utmost importance that an assessment is made on a regular basis of the ongoing activities and that the EU's strategies are adjusted accordingly, while admitting that a lasting and appropriate response to the migration phenomenon will require constant and long-term efforts and substantial resources.


The following list contains the full reference of each document quoted in the Communication, as well as some additional recent documents of relevance.


- Communication from the Commission on Reinforcing the Management of the European Union's Southern Maritime Borders, COM(2006) of 30 November 2006.

- Communication from the Commission on Strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy, COM(2006) 726 final of 29 November 2006.

- Communication from the Commission on The demographic future of Europe – from challenge to opportunity, COM(2006) 571 of 12 October 2006.

- Communication from the Commission on Policy priorities in the fight against illegal immigration of third country nationals, COM (2006) 402 final of 19 July 2006.

- Communication from the Commission on Implementing the Hague Programme: the way forward, COM (2006) 331 final of 28 June 2006.

- Communication from the Commission on Promoting decent work for all: The EU contribution to the implementation of the decent work agenda in the world, COM(2006) 249 of 24 May 2006.

- Policy Plan on Legal Migration, COM(2005) 669 final of 21 December 2005.

- Communication from the Commission on an EU Strategy for Action on the Crisis in Human Resources for Health in Developing Countries, COM(2005) 642 of 12 December 2005.

- Communication from the Commission on Priority actions for responding to the challenges of migration: First follow-up to Hampton Court, COM(2005) 621 final of 30 November 2005.

- Communication from the Commission on Migration and Development: Some concrete orientations, COM(2005) 390 final of 1 September 2005.

- Communication from the Commission on A Common Agenda for Integration: Framework for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals in the European Union, COM(2005) 389 final of 1 September 2005.

Council and European Council Conclusions

- Presidency Conclusions on the Global Approach to Migration: Priority actions focusing on Africa and the Mediterranean, European Council, Brussels, 15-16 December 2005.

- EU Strategy for Africa, European Council, SEC 15961/07, 15-16 December 2005.

- A Strategy for the External Dimension of JHA: Global Freedom, Security and Justice, 14366/3/05, 12 December 2005.

- Council Conclusions on A Common Agenda for Integration, 14390/05, 1-2 December 2005.

Other documents

- Annual Report on Migration and Integration SEC(2006) 892.

- National Action Plans for Social Inclusion 2006-2008.

- European Commission, DG Justice, Freedom and Security, Handbook on integration for policy makers and practitioners , November 2004, written by the Migration Policy Group, Brussels. The handbook can be downloaded from the following address:

- Labour Migration Patterns in Europe: Recent Trends, Future Challenges , published in September 2006 in the series Economic Papers and available on the following website: ).



The following gives details of work carried out on the priority actions during the course of 2006. Its purpose is to give an idea regarding the amount and type of work that has taken place, but is not intended to be comprehensive.


The FRONTEX Agency has coordinated several important joint operations to assist southern Member States. These activities have been a first test for the Agency and a show of solidarity with those Member States most affected by high numbers of migrants arriving every day. Among the important operations that have been carried out in the autumn are HERA II in the Canary Islands and off the coast of North-western Africa and NAUTILUS in the central Mediterranean. The purpose of these operations, which have also involved the cooperation of neighbouring African States, has been to enforce the control of the external maritime borders of the European Union, thereby disrupting and preventing illegal immigration by sea, and at the same time contribute to saving the lives of illegal immigrants in distress at sea (search and rescue operations). Moreover, FRONTEX has coordinated the detachment of experts in nationality identification from other Member States to Spain and Malta to assist the authorities of these two Member States in repatriating third country nationals who cannot legally remain in their territories.

Two important studies will inform future work. In July FRONTEX completed the feasibility study on a Mediterranean Coastal Patrols Network (MEDSEA). The study calls for the establishment of National Coordination Centres in the Member States, which would, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, coordinate the activities of the different national authorities involved, in cooperation with the national coordination centres of neighbouring Member States and third countries. FRONTEX is also carrying out the study on the technical feasibility of establishing a surveillance system covering the whole southern maritime borders of the EU and the Mediterranean Sea (BORTEC). This study will comprise an overview of the existing monitoring and surveillance systems in use, their area of coverage and their technical solutions, as well as the needs and wishes for further development with modern technology to cover the entire EU southern maritime borders. It is due to be completed by the end of 2006.

The development of Regional Networks of Immigration Liaison Officers (ILOs) has progressed well as part of the overall Migration Routes Initiative. Four key migration routes from Africa to Europe were identified, and the presence of ILOs along these routes was determined. Reports on illegal immigration were drafted by these ILOs, which gave a picture of the situation in their respective countries and operational recommendations for stepping up cooperation along the routes. Meanwhile, Spain, France, Italy and the UK accepted leadership for each of the Regional Networks, and preparatory meetings got underway quickly. The Regional Networks will now work on developing an action plan for each route, consisting of concrete, operational projects that can be implemented to help combat illegal immigration.

In July the Commission put forward a proposal for the establishment of Rapid Border Intervention Teams to be managed by FRONTEX. Such teams would be made up of specially trained border guard officers of the national services of Member States who on short notice can be deployed to a requesting Member State to provide technical and operational assistance. All costs associated with the training and deployment of these officers by FRONTEX will according to the proposal be covered by the Community. The proposal is currently being discussed in the Council; quick adoption would mean they could become operational in the foreseeable future.

The Commission has also been carrying out an analysis of the law of the sea from the point of view of the fight against illegal immigration. The study examines Member State control powers in the different maritime spaces, as well as third countries' obligations on the basis of international sea law and maritime law and as regards the fight against the smuggling of migrants. The possibility for an institutionalised regional cooperation mechanism along the lines of the one existing amongst the Baltic States is also explored.

EU Member States and the Commission played an active role in preparations for the UN High Level Dialogue on international migration and development. An EU Common Position was developed in the Council as a contribution to the Dialogue, supplemented by a Commission Communication. It set out the EU's approach to issues being covered by the Dialogue. The event itself was a success. High-level representatives from around the world joined together for two days to pledge their support for closer cooperation on migration and development issues. Many States expressed their wish to continue the dialogue through a global, informal and voluntary Forum. Belgium has offered to host the Global Forum on migration and development in July 2007. The aim will be to share expertise and best practice and enhance co-operation in the area of migration and development.


Call on FRONTEX to: |

1.1.implement border management measures in the Mediterranean region, in particular joint operations and pilot projects, as early as possible in 2006 |

Several joint operations and pilot projects were planned and implemented during 2006. The UK negotiated a framework partnership agreement with FRONTEX to allow UK officials to participate in joint operations on a case-by-case basis. Project proposals were also submitted by Member States to the various Community programmes, including ARGO and AENEAS. These included the Spanish projects 'Seahorse', 'Atlantis' and 'Gate to Africa'. |

Actions and events: |

25 June-5 July | Operation Poseidon: this project measured the effectiveness of border control on the 'Balkan route'. Joint action was carried out to combat illegal immigration. It took place at various places along the land border between Greece and Turkey, as well as in harbours in Greece and Italy. |

15 July-15 September | Operation AGIOS: a joint operation to tackle forged documents in Spain's Mediterranean ports. Deployment of EU officers started at the beginning of August. The implementation of the AGIOS-Project is closely linked to the ARGO-funded project 'Gate of Africa'. |

HERA I: 17 July-31 October HERA II: 11 August to date | Operation HERA: a project that aimed to reduce the flow of migrants from Senegal and Mauritania towards the Canary Islands. The objective was reached by raising the number of repatriations performed (HERA I – Identification and Return), as well as establishing patrols on the open sea near Senegal and Mauritania to reduce the departure of vessels from these shores (HERA II - Patrolling). |

31 July-31 October Second phase is foreseen from mid-November to mid-December | Operation Migration Flow Malta: the main objective of this operation was to tackle the flow of illegal immigrants embarking from Libyan shores, to enhance knowledge and intelligence of the Maltese authorities and to increase the percentage of successfully identified illegal immigrants. |

5 October-15 October | Operation NAUTILUS: the main scope of this joint operation was to patrol the area south of Sicily, Lampedusa and Malta in the Mediterranean Sea to reduce the immigration flows originating mainly from Libya. The involvement of Libya in this project was sought. |

1-22 November | Operation Amazon: so-called Focal Point Offices were established in international airports in Spain, Portugal, UK, France, Italy, Netherlands and Germany, with the objective of preventing illegal immigration. The focus was on Latin American migration routes. |

Next steps: | Continue carrying out joint operations |

1.2. Present a Risk Analysis report on Africa, building on recent studies, by May 2006 |

FRONTEX shared its analysis report, Brief Assessment of Illegal Immigration Flows and Routes on the African Continent, in May. This report assisted in the identification of the main illegal immigration routes from Africa, and was used to support the work on setting up regional ILO networks. |

Actions and events: |

Spring | EUROPOL issued a study on the eastern Mediterranean. |

April | FRONTEX delivered a tailored Risk Analysis report on Illegal Immigration from Mauritania, identifying recently used illegal immigration routes from Western Africa that transit Mauritania. |

30 May | FRONTEX delivered the Risk Analysis on illegal migration from Africa with special focus on Morocco and Libya and presented the results to its Management Board Meeting in Siofok. |

22-23 May, Casablanca | Interpol meeting on illegal migration in Africa |

7-9 June, Brdo, Slovenia | Joint ICMPD-EUROPOL meeting held within the framework of the Dialogue on Mediterranean Transit Migration (MTM), on the topic 'Migration Flows and Trends in the Mediterranean'. |

13-14 November, Porto | Joint ICMPD-EUROPOL-FRONTEX meeting held within the framework of the Dialogue on MTM, on the topic 'Project Towards Comprehensive Response to Mixed Migration Flows'. |

Next steps: | Risk analyses to be used in planning and preparation of further operations. |

1.3. Launch a feasibility study on reinforcing monitoring and surveillance of the southern maritime border of the EU, namely in the Mediterranean Sea, and on a Mediterranean Coastal Patrols Network involving EU Member States and North African countries, as early as possible in 2006 |

A support group currently consisting of 14 Member States was set up to undertake the MEDSEA study, which was completed in July. The main recommendation of the study is to establish national coordination centres in all Member States, which should on a 24/7 basis coordinate the activities of Member States and third countries. |

Actions and events: |

1 March | A core team of experts from SP, IT, FR and GR started work in FRONTEX. Participating Member States submitted answers to a questionnaire circulated by FRONTEX. |

6 April, Warsaw | First meeting of MEDSEA Support Group. |

10 May, Warsaw | Second meeting of MEDSEA Support Group. |

8 June, Helsinki | Third meeting of MEDSEA Support Group. |

20 June, Warsaw | Fourth meeting of MEDSEA Support Group. |

6 July, Warsaw | Fifth meeting of MEDSEA Support Group. |

24 July | Study presented to the Council and the Commission. |

Next steps: | Recommendations of the study to be implemented by Member States as soon as possible, where necessary with support from FRONTEX – timetable and costing to be put together Third countries to be contacted once the EU has a clear view on how it wants to reinforce monitoring and surveillance – sufficient flexibility for modifying the EU approach to be kept to allow for the integration of the wishes and views of third countries |

2. Explore the technical feasibility of establishing a surveillance system covering the whole southern maritime border of the EU and the Mediterranean Sea by the end of 2006. Such a system would use modern technology with the aim of saving lives at sea and tackling illegal immigration |

Working arrangements for the 'BORTEC' study were transferred from the Commission to FRONTEX. |

Actions and events: |

Spring | Expert group established to carry out the study, bringing together both technical and operational people, including those with expertise with the Galileo system. |

5 April | Coordination meeting between Commission and FRONTEX to enable transfer and continuation of the work. |

2 June | Project template approved. |

7 July | First meeting of the Support Group. |

Next steps: | Study due in December |

3. Establish regional networks of Immigration Liaison Officers (ILOs) involving priority countries or regions as early as possible in 2006, and present reports on illegal immigration and trafficking, with the assistance where appropriate of ILOs in key countries, by May 2006 |

The work to set up regional networks of ILOs has been closely linked to the migration routes initiative and the EU-Africa Ministerial Regional Conference held in Rabat. On the basis of existing data and statistics, four key migration routes from the African continent towards Europe were identified and selected for detailed work. For each of these routes the presence of ILOs in the relevant countries was determined. The ILOs were approached to draft targeted illegal immigration reports and to submit concrete, operational recommendations for stepping up cooperation along the routes. EC Delegations in the relevant third countries identified immigration contact persons who supported the reporting activity. The ICONet system was adapted for specific use by the ILO Networks. In addition, for each key route a lead Member State was identified: SP, FR, IT and UK for regional networks 1 to 4 respectively. Leading Member States were requested to draft a six-month calendar of activities, including start-up regional meetings, with the final objective of developing an operational action plan for each route. |

Actions and events: |

May-June | Illegal immigration reports drafted by ILOs. |

14 June, Madrid | Joint preparatory meeting for ILO regional networks 1 and 2, organised by SP and FR. |

6 July, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias | Joint start up meeting for ILO regional networks 1 and 2 organised by SP and FR, bringing together ILOs along both routes. |

6 October, London | Joint preparatory meeting for ILO regional networks 3 and 4 organised by IT and UK. |

14-15 November, Rome | Joint start up meeting for ILO regional networks 3 and 4, bringing together ILOs along both routes. |

Next steps: | Local meetings of ILO regional networks to be held regularly Operational action plans to be drafted |

4. Bring forward a proposal for the creation of rapid reaction teams made up of national experts able to provide rapid technical and operational assistance at times of high influxes of migrants, in accordance with the Hague Programme, by Spring 2006 |

In July the Commission put forward a proposal for the establishment of Rapid Border Intervention Teams to be managed by FRONTEX. Such teams would be made up of specially trained border guard officers of the national services of Member States who on short notice can be deployed to a requesting Member State to provide technical and operational assistance. All costs associated with the training and deployment of these officers by FRONTEX will, according to the proposal, be covered by the Community. |

Actions and events: |

April | Study on legal competences of border guards completed. |

19 July | Proposal for a Regulation on the setting up of a mechanism for the creation of Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. |

Next steps: | Council discussion of proposal, followed by adoption of the Regulation Continued work by Commission on a proposal for expert intervention teams in the asylum context |

5. Ensure a substantial follow-up to the report of the Global Commission on International Migration, and prepare for the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development that will be launched in September 2006 |

Several preparatory events were organised in the lead-up to the HLD, and the Commission and Member States took an active part in all of them. A Commission Memorandum on EU policies, a Communication and an EU Common Position were all submitted as contributions to the preparations. The HLD itself was a success. High-level representatives from around the world committed to closer co-operation on migration and development issues and agreed to continue dialogue through a global forum. |

Actions and events: |

4-7 April, New York | 39th Session of the Commission on Population and Development. |

May | Commission Memorandum on EU policies sent to the UN Secretary-General by President Barroso. |

12 June, Brussels | BE organised a seminar to discuss follow up to the HLD. |

28-30 June, Turin | International Symposium on Migration and Development organised by DESA – Commission organised a session on EU policies on migration and development, including as a speaker a representative from the ACP Secretariat. |

14 July | Commission Communication issued. |

17 July, Brussels | EU Common Position adopted by the General Affairs and External Relations Council. |

14-15 September, New York | UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. |

Next steps: | Participation in and support to the Global forum to be hosted by BE in July 2007 |

6. Present an analysis of the existing international instruments on the law of the sea, including relevant aspects of refugee law, by March 2006 |

The Commission has been carrying out this study with a particular focus on the Mediterranean. The study is essentially a gaps analysis identifying the issues that could be further explored. It is due to be published shortly. |

Actions and events: |

23-24 May, Madrid | Meeting on Rescue at Sea and Maritime Interception in the Mediterranean, organised by UNHCR, attended by maritime and immigration representatives of almost all states bordering the Mediterranean, as well as other interested countries. The meeting illustrated the need for a concerted and complementary approach that involves all state actors, not only those engaged in rescue at sea and interception activities. Three specific recommendations to come out of the meeting were: discussion on issues including rescue at sea, interception and disembarkation needs to continue; IMO Member States have a collective responsibility to comply with the SAR and SOLAS Conventions and the IMO guidelines; and with improved data collection and strengthened cooperation, states can continue to draw lessons from good practices identified elsewhere and seek to benefit from the complementary roles that may be played by IGOs in the area of reception, screening and assistance in finding solutions for the various categories of people. |

Next steps: | Commission to present report Discussion of the analysis, and development of an EU common position on the open legal questions |


This first year has very much been a year of agenda-setting. With the recognition of the necessity to work in partnership with African and Mediterranean countries and to address the needs and concerns of all concerned, 2006 has acted as a preparatory year, paving the way for engagement with African states on the range of migration issues.

The amount of agenda space given to migration in regional fora this year has to some extent been surprising. An EU-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development was held in Tripoli on 22-23 November, which adopted a Joint Declaration. This was a highly significant event, with the EU and the whole of Africa coming together for the first time to make a political commitment to working together on migration. Similarly, other regional bodies gave their attention to migration – the ACP states held their first meeting of ministers responsible for asylum and migration, which resulted in a declaration and plan of action; migration was discussed and featured prominently in the conclusions of the EU-ECOWAS Troika; and for the first time migration was on the agenda as a discussion point at the ACP-EU Council.

The ministerial conference held in Rabat in July was a successful and important event. A joint initiative between Morocco, Spain and France and co-financed by the Commission, the conference brought together West, Central and North African states with EU Member States to discuss common responses to migratory flows along the West African route. States committed themselves to developing a close partnership "to work together, in the framework of a global, balanced, pragmatic and operational approach, with respect for the fundamental rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, on the phenomenon of migratory routes". The conference agreed that this framework must involve countries of origin, transit and destination, and that central to this partnership is the fight against poverty and the promotion of sustainable development in African states. It will now be important to implement initiatives contained in the Action Plan, so as "to respond to the urgency of the situation and give visibility and credibility to the new dynamic brought about by the conference". The Rabat Declaration called for a second, follow up ministerial conference in two years' time at the latest.

Dialogue on the basis of article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement has been initiated with certain key Sub-Saharan African states. Meetings with the authorities in Mauritania, Senegal and Mali were extremely positive and productive, and discussion on migration now continues as part of the political dialogue led by Heads of Missions. Linked to this, migration is currently being incorporated into the programming exercise for the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). Where relevant, every Country Strategy Paper for ACP countries should contain a migration profile, and discussions between delegations, Member States and the third countries concerned should result in the identification of priorities for the funding of migration-related activities and projects for the next five years. Given the importance of assisting developing countries in managing migration, an intra-ACP migration facility of €25 million has been developed and programming work is underway. It will focus in particular on the management of south-south migration.

Mention should also be made of other ongoing work on the migration and development agenda. In March Belgium and the IOM, with the support of the World Bank and the Commission, organised a conference on migration and development. It successfully brought together high level representatives from across continents, to discuss achieving greater coherence between migration and development policies, forming partnerships among countries of origin, transit and destination, and involving migrant communities in the development of their home countries. In June the Commission hosted an expert meeting on migration and development. This was a good opportunity to share experiences and information on current projects, in particular regarding the four main topics: remittances, working with the diaspora, temporary and circular migration and brain drain. Participants agreed on the need to share information better and improve coordination in this field. Of course, this agenda links in with the UN High Level Dialogue, and it also needs to be reflected in EU assistance to interested countries in Africa.

With much of the political agenda-setting now in place, it will be important to move quickly to implement the commitments taken between Africa and the EU in the course of 2007 and beyond.


7. Work to make migration a shared priority for political dialogue between the EU and the African Union, including through regular senior officials' meetings to prepare for EU-Africa Ministerial Troika discussions |

Migration has featured prominently on the agenda of the AU and joint meetings between the AU and EU this year, with senior officials' meetings to prepare them as appropriate. Dialogue culminated in an EU-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in Tripoli in November 2006. |

Actions and events: |

1 March, Addis Ababa | AU Commission and EU Commission Task Force – included discussion of the possibilities for a dialogue on migration. |

3-5 April, Algiers | AU expert meeting – defined a draft common position on migration and development. |

8 May, Vienna | EU-Africa Ministerial Troika, preceded by a senior officials' meeting – discussion included the EU-pan African conference on migration |

1-2 July, Banjul | AU common position on migration and development formally adopted at AU Summit. |

11-12 September, Brussels | EU-AU Commissions Joint Task Force – discussion focused on exchange of information and preparation of the Tripoli conference. |

2 October, Addis Ababa | Commission to Commission meeting involving many Commissioners from both sides – migration was high on the agenda and the principle of the Tripoli conference was endorsed. |

9 October, Brazzaville | EU-Africa Ministerial Troika – concluded that the ministerial conference on migration and development will take place in Tripoli on 22-23 November. |

22-23 November, Libya | EU-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development – joint declaration and trafficking action plan adopted. Preparations took place in the High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration; an extended Troika meeting hosted by Malta; and a senior official's meeting held in Tripoli on 21 November. |

Next steps: | Follow-up to the Joint Declaration of the ministerial conference |

8. Work in partnership with African countries and regional organisations, such as ECOWAS, through a range of fora, initiatives and regional meetings, including an EU-Africa Ministerial Conference in Morocco in 2006 and a conference on migration and development in Brussels in March 2006 |

Some successful high profile events have acted to keep migration firmly on the international agenda this year and the subject of much political debate. |

Actions and events: |

6-8 February, Kenya | IOM workshop on 'International Travel Documents and Issuance Systems: Technical review of standards and systems for East and Central African Governments, and participating West African Governments. |

15-16 March, Brussels | Migration and Development Conference organised by BE and IOM, with the support of the World Bank and the Commission |

4-6 April, Brussels | African-European Inter-regional Dialogue on Managing Labour Migration for Integration and Development, organised by ILO with financial support from the EU. |

13 April, Brussels | First meeting of ACP Ministers in charge of Asylum, Migration and Mobility – declaration and plan of action adopted. |

22-23 May, Vienna | EU-ECOWAS Troika – migration was on the agenda and figured prominently in the conclusions; agreement to set up a joint working group on migration. |

6 June, Lisbon | IOM seminar on "Migration and development within the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community – engaging diasporas as agents for development". |

6 June, Papua New Guinea | ACP-EU Council – migration was on the agenda as a 'C' point (discussion) for the first time |

28-29 June, Niamey | Technical seminar, funded by the AENEAS 2004 Across Sahara project – focused on the situation in Libya and Niger concerning a range of issues such as illegal immigration, transit migration, visas, to readmission and return, asylum and statistics, and included an analysis report drawn up on the basis of questionnaire replies from the Nigerian and Libyan authorities |

10-11 July, Rabat | Euro-Africa ministerial conference on migration and development – declaration and action plan adopted, with the commitment to hold a next ministerial within two years to assess progress. Preparation took place in steering committee meetings, senior officials' meetings (including one hosted by Senegal), and in the High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration with the participation of the Ambassador of Morocco. |

26-27 October, Niamey | EU-ECOWAS Troika – migration was once again high on the agenda and in the conclusions. |

Next steps: | Ongoing follow-up and implementation of initiatives contained in the Rabat action plan Develop East Africa migration route initiative Rapidly set up EU-ECOWAS joint working group on migration and initiate its work |

9. Explore the feasibility of a migration routes initiative for operational cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination, with a view to developing a concrete initiative in 2006 |

Development of the migration route concept has made good headway, with several steps being taken to bring together countries of origin, transit and destination along the same migratory route. Four key migration routes on the African continent towards Europe were identified, as set out in action 3 above. Other related initiatives include a General Action Plan prepared by EUROPOL concerning cooperation with third countries for the purposes of Police Chiefs Task Force; and a pilot project proposal submitted by BE to Morocco on return and reintegration of Malians, as well as a regional initiative to help Mali dismantle smuggling networks. |

Actions and events: |

10-11 July, Rabat | Euro-Africa ministerial conference on migration and development, which aimed at identifying operational action along the West Africa migration routes. |

7-10 November, Las Palmas | SP hosted a police conference in the framework of the Seahorse project, which was attended by Member States, FRONTEX and EUROPOL. |

July | UK presented proposals for an East Africa Migration Routes Initiative to the High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration. This includes a stock-take of Member States' activities in the region; an analysis of the gaps in relevant transit countries and the requirements; and the ILO regional network developments with Italy. |

Next steps: | A global approach action plan for each of the routes will be developed, using a variety of sources including the ILO reports |

10. Enhance dialogue by spring 2006 with key sub-Saharan African states on the basis of Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement, covering a broad range of issues from institution and capacity building and effective integration of legal migrants to return and the effective implementation of readmission obligations, in order to establish a mutually beneficial cooperation in this field |

The Commission proposed launching bilateral dialogue on migration on the basis of article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Mauritania and Niger. This has so far proceeded with Mauritania, Senegal and Mali. Three other countries had to be removed from the list due to varying political circumstances. Seven Member States proposed adding Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia to this initial list of countries; BE proposed adding Guinea (Conakry) and Rwanda; and DE proposed adding Burkina Faso. At the same time migration is being integrated into the Country Strategy Papers for ACP countries, as part of the programming exercise for the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). Once drafted by Delegations and ACP countries, with the participation of Member States, they will be formally adopted by the EDF-Committee. |

Actions and events: |

January | Commission delegations in selected countries were contacted to explore the possibilities of article 13 Cotonou dialogue. |

April-June | Technical mission Mauritania in the framework of the Rapid Reaction Mechanism; the final decision on financial support was taken in June to a total of 2.45 million euro. |

5-6 June, Dakar | Informal contacts were made with several African countries in the margins of the meeting in Dakar that prepared the Rabat Ministerial Conference on migration and development. |

23-25 May | Commission mission to Mauritania and Senegal to initiate article 13 dialogue, so that it can continue at Head of Mission level in the context of the regular political dialogue (article 8 Cotonou). |

25-28 September | Commission mission to Mali in context of article 13. |

September-November | Technical mission to Senegal in the framework of the Rapid Reaction Mechanism; the financial decision will be taken shortly. |

18-20 October, Brussels | Training workshop for EC delegations on migration in EC external assistance. |

Next steps: | Heads of Mission in Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia to assess the feasibility of launching dialogue with these countries Article 13 dialogue to be initiated with further key countries, with regular reporting back to Member States, and to be actively continued with all relevant countries |

11. Establish and implement a pilot Regional Protection Programme (RPP) involving Tanzania as early as possible in 2006, with a steering group to oversee the programme. Based on findings from the pilot, develop plans for further programmes in Africa |

Following the Council Conclusions on Regional Protection Programmes in November 2005, several proposals for projects to initiate the pilot RPPs were submitted under the 2005 AENEAS call for proposals. One of these was submitted by UNHCR and focused specifically on Tanzania and the surrounding region. The proposal was selected by the AENEAS Management Committee, and is expected to get underway in 2007. The project will include strengthening the capacity of national authorities to protect refugees, improving security in refugee camps, promoting voluntary return of Burundian refugees, enhancing access to resettlement, and registration of refugees. |

Actions and events: |

14 February, Brussels | Expert meeting with Member States convened by the Commission. |

July | AENEAS project proposal for Tanzania accepted. |

Next steps: | Initiate projects as soon as contracts signed Initiate UNHCR-run project for North Africa Develop further protection-oriented projects with UNHCR |

12. Carry out a study to improve understanding of the root causes of migration to underpin the long-term approach |

The Joint Research Centre is currently carrying out a case study focusing on Senegal and Mali. It will analyse the root causes of migration in these two countries and their policy implications. |

Actions and events: |

July | Drafting commenced and Member States were invited to provide information on existing studies on root causes. |

Next steps: | Study expected in November 2006 Study should be discussed and used as part of the long-term EU approach |

13. Develop regular dialogue with UNHCR as early as possible in 2006, to share experience and expertise on working with countries in Africa |

Dialogue with UNHCR on the implementation continued via regular meetings. |

Next steps: | A high-level meeting will be organised between the Commission and UNHCR in early January in order to operationalise the UNHCR 10-Point Plan of Action presented at the Rabat conference; the feasibility of holding such meetings regularly to update on the situation in different countries will be examined |

14. Launch initiatives in early 2006 to promote cheaper and more easily available remittance services, and support ongoing efforts by international organisations to improve data on remittance flows; consider supporting efforts of African states to facilitate members of diasporas to contribute to their home countries, including through co-development actions, and explore options to mitigate the impact of skill losses in vulnerable sectors |

This wide agenda was the subject of much discussion during the year. An expert meeting organised by the Commission in June was a useful opportunity to share experiences and best practice, while productive discussion took place in the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in New York and the Africa-EU Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in Libya. |

Actions and events: |

15-16 March, Brussels | Migration and Development Conference organised by BE and IOM, with the support of the World Bank and the Commission. |

20 June, Brussels | Member State expert meeting on the main subjects covered by the September 2005 Migration and Development Communication convened by the Commission. |

10-11 July, Rabat | Euro-Africa ministerial conference on migration and development. |

14-15 September, New York | UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development. |

13-14 November, London | UK-World Bank Conference on Remittances – UK also made available its publication on the UK remittances market. |

22-23 November, Tripoli | EU-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development |

Next steps: | Establish 'virtual' working groups on each of the main topics on the migration and development agenda, involving Member States, international organisations, Commission services and other experts as appropriate Support projects on migration and development in interested African countries as part of EU financial assistance under the EDF, the MEDA programme, Aeneas or the future thematic programme on migration |

15. Establish information campaigns targeting potential migrants to highlight the risks associated with illegal migration and raise awareness about legal channels for migration |

IOM carried out information campaign work with Senegal during the summer. Portugal has also organised information campaigns in embarkation/disembarkation bulletins disseminated at airports of origin and destination and travel agencies, with information concerning the requirements for legal entry in Portugal and raising awareness of the risks of illegal migration and networks of trafficking in human beings. |


Although progress in the EuroMed framework has not developed as quickly as was hoped, important and productive senior officials' meetings were held in June and October. These renewed motivation and optimism for furthering cooperation on migration, which has been given concrete expression through the preparation of a working document detailing projects and best practices of each of the EuroMed partners relating to legal migration, migration and development and the fight against illegal migration, and a more detailed action programme with recommendations for future cooperation. Portugal has also offered to host a EuroMed Ministerial meeting on migration in 2007.

Meanwhile, work with individual North African countries has made good headway. The dialogue and cooperation with Morocco has intensified and the EU has decided to grant political and considerable financial support to Morocco (up to €90 million) to assist this country in its efforts to better manage migration. A major step forward was taken with a twinning project on the fight against illegal migration, as well as budgetary support for purchasing border control equipment. Negotiations on an EC Readmission agreement have also continued, and are expected to be launched with Algeria soon. An important programme of support (€10 million) to the Algerian border police, approved in 2005, is ongoing. Discussions with Libya on issues concerning migration have also continued and Libya has invited a team of EU experts to carry out a mission to its southern borders. All in all, cooperation with the Mediterranean countries is set to develop strongly in the future, on the basis of the relevant Association Agreements and Neighbourhood Policy Action Plans.


16. Hold a EuroMed Ministerial meeting on migration in 2006 |

At a positive senior officials' meeting, it was agreed to collect information on projects and best practice in areas identified by the Barcelona Summit in November 2005: legal migration, migration and development and illegal migration, trafficking and return issues. With contributions from all 35 delegations, the Commission undertook to prepare a background document with all the information provided, as well as a more detailed action programme containing recommendations for future cooperation. |

Actions and events: |

20 June, Brussels | Senior officials' meeting to discuss further cooperation and to prepare the Ministerial meeting. |

20 October, Brussels | Second senior officials' meeting, which discussed the draft action programme. |

Next steps: | Continue developing ideas for concrete joint projects Continue preparations for the EuroMed Ministerial, planned to take place during the Portuguese Presidency in 2007 |

17. Engage Mediterranean third countries in the feasibility study of a Mediterranean Coastal Patrols Network, Mediterranean surveillance system and related pilot projects, where appropriate |

See priority action 1.3. |

18. Make available experiences and best practices where appropriate from other regional cooperation structures, including those relating to the Baltic Sea |

9 June, Helsinki | Finland hosted a Member State expert visit to the Helsinki Headquarters of the Border Guards to assess the Baltic experience in dealing with Border security management, comprising technical means, legal framework, regional cooperation and operational activities |

19. Use all available frameworks for cooperation with Mediterranean partners, including those mentioned below, to prevent and combat illegal migration and trafficking in human beings, build capacity to better manage migration, and explore how best to share information on legal migration and labour market opportunities, for example through the development of migration profiles and through strengthening sub-regional fora |

The possibilities of implementing the priority actions in the framework of the 5+5 cooperation were explored in the 5+5 group under the Chair of France and then Spain. For example, France, Spain and Morocco are working on a joint project that aims to promote the institutional capacity between these countries on labour migration, so as to connect labour demand and offer between them. The project started in December 2005 and will finish in November 2008. Meanwhile, the concept of the Migration Profile has been developed. The IOM and the JRC both drafted initial proposals for how the tool could work. The idea was then formally presented at the UN High Level Dialogue in New York on 14-15 September. Funding has been earmarked in the AENEAS 2006 call for proposals to further develop Migration Profiles for key countries. |

Actions and events: |

12 May, Nice | 5+5 Interior Ministers – Commission was invited to take part in the lunch. |

29-30 June, Paris | Follow-up meeting to the ministerial conference on migration held in Paris in November 2005, with discussion including migration and development, labour migration and reception and integration of migrants. |

Next steps: | Continue using all relevant fora to further work on the Global Approach Continue developing the Migration Profile concept, in particular using AENEAS funding |

20. Undertake priority work with the following three countries: |

20.1 Morocco – implement projects to combat trafficking and conclude negotiations of the EC-Morocco readmission agreement as early as possible |

Implementation of various projects using MEDA and AENEAS funding has been promoted, and negotiations on an EC Readmission agreement have continued. Morocco was also host of the Euro-Africa ministerial conference on migration and development, held in Rabat in July. |

Actions and events: |

18 May | EU-Morocco subcommittee on JHA. |

10-11 July, Rabat | Euro-Africa ministerial conference on migration and development. |

22 November, Rabat | Meeting of the EU-Morocco subcommittee on migration and social affairs and readmission discussions. |

November, Rabat | EU-Morocco Working Group on migration and social affairs. |

Next steps: | Continuation of the negotiations on an EC Readmission agreement Effective implementation of cooperation projects and continued dialogue on migration-related issues |

20.2 Algeria – hold a first meeting in early 2006 to take forward cooperation on the basis of the migration provisions of the EC-Algeria Association Agreement and begin the negotiation of the readmission agreement as quickly as possible on the basis of the mandate given to the Commission |

Algeria hosted an AU expert meeting on migration and development in April. Negotiations on the EC readmission agreement are expected to be launched in early 2007. |

Actions and events: |

16 May | First EU-Algeria Association Council meeting. |

Next steps: | First meeting of the EU-Algeria subcommittee on migration and social affairs, 5-6 December, Algiers Effective start of negotiations on an EU-Algeria readmission agreement Effective dialogue on migration-related issues |

20.3 Libya – conclude the work to agree the EU-Libya Action Plan on migration as early as possible in 2006, in accordance with the Council Conclusions of 3 June 2005 on initiating dialogue and cooperation with Libya on migration issues, and implement projects as soon as possible thereafter |

The Commission has been doing its utmost to work bilaterally with Libya in addressing the issue of illegal migration, and there have been various missions to discuss cooperation. Libya hosted the EU-Africa Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in November. The AENEAS-funded IOM Programme for the Enhancement of Transit and Irregular Migration Management in Libya (TRIM) has continued. |

Actions and events: |

February | Commission visited Tripoli and presented proposals for concrete cooperation and dialogue on migration issues to the Libyan side |

21-22 May | Commission visited Tripoli. Libya confirmed interest in developing dialogue and cooperation with the EU, although not in the framework of the Barcelona process. |

May | Response received from Libya, expressing willingness to host the AU-EU conference and inviting an expert mission to the southern border |

4-6 July | Commission visited Libya to discuss enhanced cooperation in several areas including migration |

Next steps: | Organise expert mission to Libya's southern borders as a matter of priority Explore possibilities for developing an EU-Libya joint risk analysis Examine the possibility of establishing direct contacts between FRONTEX and Libya to explore areas for joint cooperation, for instance in carrying out joint risks assessment and joint patrolling |

21. Intensify research to improve understanding and management of migratory flows, building on the migration component of the regional JHA I MEDA programme |

Activities launched by the Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration in the Mediterranean region (CARIM), hosted by the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, were continued throughout the year. |

Actions and events: |

May | Financed by AENEAS 2004, a new website, Migration de retour vers le Maghreb (MIREM), was opened at It is hosted by the European University Institute as part of CARIM. The MIREM project aims to examine the current challenges linked to return migration and its impact on development in Maghreb countries. The website includes data and information on the premises and implications of the EU common return policy; patterns of cooperation on readmission and their challenges; and the bilateral agreements linked to readmission involving the Maghreb countries and EU Member States. There is also an annotated inventory of the statistical data on return migration to the Maghreb countries, including various typologies of returnees, and studies related to the return mechanisms that have been implemented in the Maghreb. |

20 June, Brussels | Commission's proposals for JHA MEDA II were presented to the EuroMed partners at the senior officials' meeting on migration. |

Next steps: | CARIM will continue its research on migration in the Maghreb region Inspired by the success of the academic network (CARIM) linking migration research institutes of all the Mediterranean countries and funded by the MEDA programme, the EU should facilitate an academic conference in view of the establishment of a pan-African network of migration 'observatories' and/or migration research institutes |

22. Help strengthen links between North and sub-Saharan African countries in the framework of the possible migration routes initiative |

See priority action 9. |

23. Continue dialogue and cooperation with UNHCR in helping third countries develop capacity for refugee protection |

The Commission has financed a UNHCR project aimed at building asylum capacity in North Africa. The results of the project have been just transmitted to the Commission. In order to ensure continuity and build on this first experience, the Commission intends to finance under AENEAS 2006 another UNHCR project for protection actions in all the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries, from Morocco to Syria. |

24. Hold a conference on The role of internal security in relations between the EU and its neighbours in Vienna in May 2006 |

Following adoption by the Council of the Strategy for the External Dimension of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in December 2005, the Vienna Ministerial Conference was held on 4-5 May. The 'Vienna Declaration on Security Partnership' was adopted, and then welcomed by the European Council of 15-16 June. |

Actions and events: |

4-5 May, Vienna | Conference took place. |

Next steps: | The Commission will continue to monitor progress of the Strategy and will report to the Council every 18 months |


In the context of its December 2005 Conclusions on priority actions focusing on Africa and the Mediterranean, the European Council welcomed the increased priority being given to migration and the Commission’s intention to intensify its financial assistance in areas concerning or related to migration in respect of its relations with third countries, including by an allocation of up to 3% of the ENPI, and comparable efforts in respect of other relevant financial instruments. It also called for equivalent efforts in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to tackling the root causes of migration.

As stated in section 4.1. of this Communication, funding will be channelled through the geographic programmes established under the relevant external assistance instruments and the Thematic programme on migration and asylum.

As regards the European neighbourhood countries, the 3% commitment represents an amount of about €50 million a year, of which €30 million will be brought by the ENPI contribution to the Thematic programme on migration and asylum. The remaining part will be financed under the national, regional and cross-border geographic programmes established within the ENPI.

In addition to the initiatives on migration and asylum financed under the geographic programmes of the DCI, the DCI will contribute for about €25 million a year to the Thematic programme on migration and asylum, for funding projects in developing countries located outside of the European Neighbourhood.

As regards the ACP countries, and within the framework of the 9th EDF, an overall €40 million has been set aside for the EU Programme on Migration and Development in Africa, including the €25 million intra-ACP migration facility, whose specific destination is currently in an identification phase. Concerning the 10th EDF, which covers the period 2008-13, migration is being fully incorporated into the programming of Country and Regional Strategy Papers. Through the EU Governance Initiative and its 'incentive tranche', ACP countries will be able to obtain substantial additional financial support to develop and implement governance reforms. Access to these 10th EDF incentive resources will depend on the outcome of a dialogue between the Commission and the partner country on the past performance and future commitments in the area of governance, including on migration.

Finally, it should not be overlooked that further to the geographic programmes and to the thematic programme on asylum and migration, , other thematic programmes / instruments such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the Thematic programme for cooperation with non-state actors and local authorities or the Thematic programme "investing in people" can also occasionally provide funds on specific migration relevant issues such as trafficking in human beings or on aspects of the migration and development debate. The new Structural Funds' regulations make possible that in the context of cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation, the ERDF may finance expenditure incurred in implementing operations or parts of operations on the territory of countries outside the European Community (up to a limit of 10% of the amount of its contribution to the operational programme concerned).

[1] References to all documents cited are listed in Annex A .

[2] See annex 8 of the Communication on Migration and Development.

[3] See the Communication on Strengthening the ENP COM(2006) 726 final.