In July 2006, European and African ministers in charge of migration and development issues gathered in Rabat. They decided to work together on offering a concrete and appropriate response to these fundamental issues, based on the strong conviction that well-managed migration represents an opportunity for individuals and states in Africa and in Europe. Moreover, this should be anchored in the principles of combating poverty, promoting sustainable development and co-development, and respecting the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees. The Rabat Process was born, launching a balanced, pragmatic and operational mechanism of cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination of migrants coming from West and Central Africa.
Two years later, more than 60 European and African countries participated in a second ministerial conference of the Rabat Process that took place in Paris, and agreed on a comprehensive cooperation programme addressing three pillars of migration management: organising legal migration, fighting irregular migration and strengthening the synergies between migration and development. On 23 November 2011, Senegal hosted in Dakar the Third Euro-African Ministerial Conference which adopted a Dakar Strategy for the years 2012–2014. The aim of this strategy is an open and mature dialogue on migration challenges, accompanied by concrete initiatives structured around three pillars and ten objectives, with a follow-up mechanism to ensure implementation. More information about the Rabat Process can be found here.
The Guiding Principles
The Process is based on the following five principles:
The Rabat Process is based on dialogue which is orientated towards action.
A flexible and balanced approach
The Process is adapted to the development of migratory movements and the needs of the partner countries. It keeps a balance between the three pillars of the process: organising legal migration, combating irregular migration, and reinforcing the synergies between migration and development.
A coherent dialogue
The Process represents the main framework for regional dialogue within the Global Approach to Migration with regard to migration from West and Central Africa. It is the driving force behind initiatives implemented at bilateral, subregional, regional and multilateral levels by the members of the Rabat Process.
The Process is intergovernmental and is open to a certain number of partner organisations. Civil society, migrant associations, social partners, private sector and local and regional authorities have a crucial part to play. The steering committee is responsible for directing and driving the process.
A shared responsibilty
The partnership’s intention is to manage migratory movements between countries of origin, transit and destination in the best way possible and in a spirit of shared responsibility.