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Project news: MPF Regional Workshop in Brussels engages southern Mobility Partnerships countries

10 May 2017


Over 80 senior officials from EU Member States and partner countries, several EU institutions and agencies as well as prominent international organisations participated on 4 and 5 May 2017 at the Regional Workshop “Mobility Partnerships as catalysts for cooperation: The challenges and opportunities of labour migration from the perspective of the EU and southern neighbouring countries”.

 

The two-day event was organised in Brussels by the European Commission (Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs - DG HOME) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) within the framework of the Mobility Partnership Facility (MPF), an EU-funded instrument contributing to the operationalisation of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) pillars. 

Mobility Partnerships (MPs) as a key tool to strengthen the EU’s dialogue and cooperation on all migration and mobility issues with main partner countries was reaffirmed by DG HOME in the opening speech, while the concepts of solidarity, shared commitment and mutual understanding were evoked as the underlying principles behind MPs by the European External Action Service. The discussions focused around the impacts achieved through MPs in Southern neighbouring countries (Cabo Verde, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia), their experiences and lessons learnt and the institutional architecture of MPs as political and coordination frameworks at both national and EU level. Concrete proposals on how to streamline and rationalise the existing cooperation framework and its implementing tools were put forward and will be explored in the near future. Moreover, the event was also instrumental in providing a better understanding of the added value of MPs to partner countries that have not concluded any. A presentation of the MPF, its working mechanisms and ongoing actions was followed by four country-based presentations of key projects supporting the implementation of MPs.

The EU legal framework on the admission of specific categories of migrants which help address (temporary and permanent) labour migration was described by a representative of DG HOME who highlighted that increased mobility of students and researchers represents the most tangible result achieved following the 2015 Valletta Summit. Removing labour barriers, investing in language training and education would allow migrants to better perform in the EU labour market, while reducing discrimination, wage-penalty and welfare-dependency rate, were the key points stressed in the presentation by the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. 

Also observed were the state of play of national frameworks, practical experiences as well as challenges in the implementation of labour migration policies in MP countries as well as in Algeria, Egypt and Lebanon. Three consecutive thematic sessions moderated by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) and the European Training Foundation (ETF) closed the event by enabling an exchange of views on key observations based on recent skills forecasting in the EU, support measures for migrants from the employment and skill perspective and on skills and qualification recognition. The discussions are expected to translate into evidence-based inputs for future cooperation on labour migration policies. 

More information on the MPF here.

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