www.icmpd.org https://www.icmpd.org/ NEWS CENTRE en www.icmpd.org https://www.icmpd.org/typo3conf/ext/tt_news/ext_icon.gif https://www.icmpd.org/ 18 16 NEWS CENTRE TYPO3 - get.content.right http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Wed, 22 May 2019 13:39:05 +0200 Project News: Visibility Event for the EU-funded “Reinforcing Aviation Security at Rafic Hariri International Airport” Project (AVSEC Lebanon) https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-visibility-event-for-the-eu-funded-reinforcing-aviation-security-at-rafic-hariri-inte/ On 22 May 2019, the European Union (EU) and the International Centre for Migration Policy...

In the welcoming address  ICMPD’s Director of Migration Dialogues and Cooperation Martijn Pluim stated that “…at the heart of this [project] lies a collective will to eliminate the threat of terrorism in Lebanon and more specifically the likelihood of security incidents occurring at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport”. He also underlined that “…no one will benefit from a reinforced and efficient airport security more than the Lebanese citizens and the visitors to this beautiful country”. VIP Guests attended this high-level event – among those where delegates of EU Member States, UN agencies as well senior representatives of the project beneficiaries and Lebanese security agencies.

Minister of Interior and Municipalities Raya Al Hassan thanked for the continuous cooperation with international donors and partners and pointed out the importance of aviation security to the Lebanese government. H.E. Ambassador Christina Lassen reconfirmed the ongoing promotion of a multi-agency approach, which aims at developing a better cooperation among all security agencies in Lebanon in order to prevent and deal with terrorist attacks.

The audience was able to hear the main objectives of the AVSEC Lebanon project and expected outcomes from planned activities. One highlight from the event was a 3-minute promotional video prepared by the project that highlighted what has been achieved so far, and what is to come for the AVSEC Lebanon project, including procurement of state of the art equipment for Rafic Hariri International Airport. 

Background

The project is the first-ever aviation security action funded by the EU in Lebanon, and aims to improve coordination and cooperation among airport security agencies, increase their surveillance and security capacities, and boost infrastructure through the provision of equipment and infrastructural support, aimed at reducing the risk of terrorists and other criminals using the airport.

This EU project started on 1 September 2018 with funding in the amount of 3.5 million Euros, and a duration of 18 months.

The main beneficiaries of this action include the Airport Security Apparatus and CERSA. Other entities of relevance encompass the Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, General Security and the Lebanese Customs Administration. Not to forget the main indirect beneficiary of this action, the Lebanese citizens and travelers through Rafic Hariri International Airport, who will profit the most by achieving the projects’ objectives. 

Besides ongoing Capacity Building Activities including expertise exchange to European countries, Airport Security will benefit from state of the art equipment for explosive detection, explosive detection dogs and an improvement in terms of infrastructure. CERSA will be upgraded in terms of equipment for training purposes to allow the operation of soon to be installed equipment at the airport and to improve its role as a platform for training development and delivery.

More information on AVSEC Lebanon can be found here.

A video about the project can be found here.

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Wed, 22 May 2019 13:39:05 +0200
Interview with ICMPD Director General: working together as migration needs answers around the world https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/interview-with-icmpd-director-general-working-together-as-migration-needs-answers-around-the-world/ ICMPD's Director General Michael Spindelegger talks about the shift in projects regarding... 2019 brings elections to the European Parliament. The last EU elections were held in the aftermath of the financial crisis and were dominated by topics relating to it. Will migration be the decisive topic this time?

Migration is seen as a central topic even though the number of people coming to Europe has decreased since the peak we saw in 2015. However, the underlying reasons of the migration crisis have not been solved. We are in a quieter phase of a long-term challenge. Given current demographic and other trends, the overall pressure to migrate will increase, not decrease.

You have been Director General of ICMPD for three years now. What has been significant in 2018?

The focus of ICMPD has shifted. The topic of return has become much more vital for states. Furthermore, there is increasing awareness that we need new ideas in the field of labour migration. Fighting the root causes of irregular migration has emerged as another key topic. Another topic is a true partnership between Europe and Africa, with Germany, for instance, calling for a “Marshall Plan with Africa.” We are developing new initiatives in all of these fields so that all parties involved can benefit from new solutions.

What were ICMPD’s top projects in 2018?

We have been carrying out projects in border management for years, but 2018 changed the scope for projects in this field. Our new, EU-funded Border Management Programme for the Maghreb Region (BMP Maghreb) not only involves training on border management in Tunisia and Morocco, but also the procurement of equipment needed on this long border. Another new project aims at fighting the causes of migration from Nigeria with training to impart practical skills. Together with our partners, we want to provide vocational training to 1,000 people a year in different occupations. We advocate genuine private sector involvement in this project, which has been hard to achieve in the past. The project was unveiled at the EU-Africa Summit in Vienna in 2018. 

Which projects or ideas have worked out particularly well?

Our return project for Austria and Nigeria, for example. We managed to organise the return of people in a new project that combines training in Austria, a new job for the returnee at an Austrian company in Nigeria and thus, direct investment for Nigeria. This has changed our overall relationship with Nigeria for other projects as well. It proves that true partnerships can open doors for solutions to migration issues. Another example is our Information Centre in Afghanistan, which provides potential immigrants with realistic information about what to expect in Europe.

Which ideas have turned out to be more difficult to implement than expected?

In some cases, bureaucracy can make things more difficult than they need to be. ICMPD will suggest that the next European Commission reflects on the bureaucratic requirements for projects such as those covered by the aid the EU as stipulated in the EU-Turkey deal. Applying for European assistance alone requires tremendous effort. This is frustrating to our member state Turkey.


In 2018, several states refrained from ratifying the United Nations’ Global Compact for Migration. What kind of consequences do you expect for 2019?

It is vital that IOM, as the UN institution in charge, now approaches those countries and finally discusses their reservations. In the end, it is crucial that we all work together, as migration requires global answers.   

What kind of new steps and efforts will ICMPD take in 2019?

We are working on a catalogue of recommendations that we will present to the next European Commission. It will include suggestions based on what our member states regard as necessary steps and actions on migration policies over the next five years. ICMPD comprises very diverse countries, including the Visegrad States, Switzerland, Malta and Turkey (the latter two since 2018). Our organisation also facilitates dialogues with Africa and Asia and our finding of solid compromises could be a promising contribution. 

Furthermore, the Netherlands is in the process of ratifying its ICMPD membership and Germany has also signalled its interest in becoming a member. This would give us even more weight in the debate about finding effective ways of managing migration in Europe.

Reaching compromises on migration issues has proven to be a tough task recently. Why do you believe that ICMPD member states can agree to a joint catalogue? 

As the list of member states goes beyond EU states, we can look at and discuss other issues. EU member states very often end up reverting all too quickly to discussions about the European asylum process, which always causes tensions. As ICMPD, we can and must consider the needs of our member states such as Turkey or Portugal as well as those of Malta or Sweden. This approach will help us to focus on practicable solutions, which, in turn, could pave the way to finding solid compromises.

Would it help if Europe would finally accept that it is a continent of immigration?

That is simply a fact and we must find solutions for coping with it. Legal migration will be an important topic in the future. European countries will need legal migration to address their shrinking labour forces. This need could lay the foundation for true migration partnerships with third countries.

The interview has been first published in the ICMPD Annual Report 2018.

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Fri, 17 May 2019 10:40:00 +0200
"Regional and Global Migration Governance" by Lukas Gehrke and Martijn Pluim https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/regional-and-global-migration-governance-by-lukas-gehrke-and-martijn-pluim/ 2018 was meant to mark a major achievement and way station towards the creation of a global policy... The ongoing migration crisis in the region started to have its impact on the political discourse, especially in the US and in Europe but also in other regions. Public and political debates became increasingly polarised in a number of countries. Anti-immigrant and anti-migration positions competed with more liberal views on how to best frame global migration. Early signs of fundamental disagreement emerged when the US administration announced its withdrawal from the negotiation process. While there were some signs of a growing polarisation also at the level of the UN General Assembly, negotiations progressed steadily even if not uncontested or unchallenged in some core respects. When the negotiation process was completed in July 2018, only few would have anticipated the public and political reaction in several countries. The growing unease and concerns of certain parts of societies especially in receiving countries and regions, about the ability of leaders to effectively regulate and, to some extent, control international migration were not met with sufficient information about the aims and objectives of the Global Compact. More so, the fact that both Global Compacts would not produce (additional) legal obligations on States to accept more migrants or refugees was neither sufficiently nor proactively communicated to the public. Under these circumstances, the public debate in many countries especially in Europe became fairly uninformed, heated and divisive.

The broad range of political, legal and policy arguments caught the public rather unprepared, clouded the discussions and created pressures for decision makers. Moreover, it obscured and obstructed a more nuanced technical assessment of the negotiation processes, its resulting compromises, and the strengths and weaknesses of the policy proposals with regard to real life challenges. As a global framework for international migration has never been negotiated at the UN level before, a more robust plan for the negotiations and the adoption of the Compacts could have proved more supportive of  a global-level migration governance framework, at least from a European perspective. More specifically the stress levels of concerned societies and communities and the political playing field could have been taken into consideration during the negotiations.

On 19 December 2018, the UN General Assembly endorsed the Global Compact for Migration with a rather significant majority: 152 votes in favour and five against the agreement, 12 abstentions 24 States absent. Still, one out of five UN Member States did not support the first-ever global framework agreement on migration.

At the European level, where one third of the EU Member States did not join the Global Compact for Migration, the situation is more complicated reminding that the division and disagreement over migration policy objectives on the regional level go deeper. Against this background, the contribution of the Global Compact on Migration towards better policy outcomes in the short-run will be difficult to assess. In a longer-term perspective, it will be decisive how the Global Compact  will be able to deliver on its objectives to create ‘safe, orderly and regular migration’ and on how the UN structures will define and arrange their relations with the countries that did not endorse it. This will require continuous engagement and dialogue.

Regional Dialogues

In times like ours, multilateral Dialogues on any topic, and especially on migration which has the potential to create strong tensions not only within a society but also and especially among the States concerned, are a sign of strength.  As long as States find the willingness and the strength to share their ideas, their visions but also their disagreements and seemingly opposing objectives or opinions they can try to find understandings on a way to move forward both at strategic and operational level. As one of the essential tools for improving migration governance, dialogues build networks, insights and trust. These essential ingredients for successful operational cooperation develop as a result of getting to know and listening to each other.

One place where dialogue among all states continues notwithstanding their position regarding the Global Compact is within the various regional fora established to discuss migration at regional and interregional levels. As secretariat, ICMPD supports a number of these migration dialogues, namely the Prague, the Khartoum, the Rabat and the Budapest Processes.  These regional dialogues also played an important role in the preparation for the Global Compact Many of the proposed global actions were already part of political declarations adopted at the regional level. As such, the political declaration were preparing the grounds for a global system that started regionally. 

At the same time, the preparation for and adoption of the Global Compact also affected the regional dialogues. Both the Rabat and Budapest processes prepared and/or held ministerial level meetings in 2018. Whilst all participating States maintained their strong interest in continuing their participation in the dialogues, the Global Compact led to intense debates, or indeed to abstentions regarding the adoption of ministerial declarations.

Together with concrete projects, bilateral initiatives and formal negotiations, structured but informal dialogues have become essential elements of international cooperation on migration, especially between different geographical regions connected by the movement of people. How does the situation look like in these regions? Below, light will be shed on the 2018 developments in both Europe and Africa.

Developments in Europe in 2018

At the European level, in addition to the disagreement on the Global Compact on Migration, the deadlock over central aspects of the migration policy framework was not dissolved, and positions remained entrenched. As a result, the EU and its Member States remain vulnerable to and are most likely still unprepared for another refugee and migration crisis. Collective efforts aimed at reducing irregular migration flows in the neighbourhood have resulted in a reduced numbers of new arrivals. This has led some to conclude that the migration crisis was finally over. Whilst it is important to de-escalate the rhetoric, the consequences of the crisis of 2015-2016 will continue to be felt. Challenges  regarding both integration and return/reintegration remain significant, secondary movements within the EU are on the rise, and the situation on the Greek islands are below acceptable European standards. Moreover, many of the underlying reasons and dynamics that shaped the crisis remain largely unaltered. Forecasts and longer-term scenarios, furthermore, underline the urgency for action on all levels to address effectively the drivers and causes of irregular migration and forced displacement as well as to adopt functioning migration policy frameworks. At the end of 2018, the EU remains ill prepared for the challenges to come.

Even though most migrants arrive in Europe through labour and family related processes, the European migration debate is dominated primarily by irregular migration and asylum. Consequently, indicators relating to these two aspects deserve special examination. In the course of 2018, the situation regarding irregular arrivals and asylum applications has eased up gradually. This has been recognised in the political as well as in the public debate. Reference is often made to a substantial reduction in irregular arrivals to the EU. It reached its lowest level since five years. Although this viewpoint is not incorrect, it requires a closer analysis. A total of 150,000 illegal border crossings were registered in 2018. This number in fact represented a pre-crisis level of 2013 and amounted to only about one twelfth of the figure recorded for 2015 (1.82 million). The main routes shifted last year from the Libya – Italy route in the central Mediterranean (a reduction of 80% compared to 2017) to the Morocco – Spain route in the western Mediterranean (an increase of 100% compared to 2017). However, the figures for asylum applications suggest that the Mediterranean routes may not be the only way of getting to Europe. The number of asylum applications fell again in 2018 but not as sharply as the number of identified irregular border crossings, suggesting not only that other routes still exist, but that individual asylum seekers submit multiple applications and finally, that irregular arrival is not the only channel to enter asylum systems. Some 640.000 asylum requests were registered in EU Member States in 2018. This is about 11% fewer applications than in 2017 (712.000) and about 51% lower than in 2015 (1.3 million). The figure for 2018 would nonetheless be the fifth highest in the past 25 years.

The nations topping the list for most applications in 2018 were Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, Albania, Eritrea, Russia, and Somalia. These figures underline that asylum migration is to a considerable extend conflict-induced in the European context. This means, in turn, that developments in global conflicts will fundamentally shape what happens in the asylum sector in the future too.

As in the past, the asylum applications were concentrated in a handful of host countries within the EU. In 2018, about 75% of all asylum applications were submitted in just five EU Member States: Germany (31.2%), France (17.5%), Greece (9.8%), Italy (8.5%) and Spain (7.9%). This clustering with changing countries of destination has been observed time and again in the past as well.

2018 Reforms of EU migration and refugee policy 

The reform of the internal dimension made some - but still too limited - progress in 2018 in several areas, such as the strengthening of the mandate and institutional capacities of Frontex and EASO, the new version of the Eurodac Regulation, the Asylum Procedures Directive, the Qualification Directive and the Reception Conditions Directive. 

In some respect, 2018 also brought clarity on how extensive the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) would be, namely a central element of internal EU refugee and migration policy. The most controversial point in this regard was, and remains the reform of the Dublin II Regulation. It sets down the criteria for determining the responsibility for processing an asylum application. The first-country principle in the Regulation puts more or less the entire burden of all EU asylum procedures on the Member States along the external borders, while in reality, over 50% of the asylum applications are submitted in EU Member States without an external border.

Under the impression of the de-facto collapse of the Dublin-based system in 2015 and under the headings of solidarity and responsibility-sharing, this system was to be reformed to provide a fair and also mandatory distribution, key for asylum applicants. The approach entailing mandatory quotas was never capable of gaining a majority and 2018 gave final proof of that fact. The Bulgarian Presidency still tried a last attempt at rescuing the Dublin Reform by devising a number of compromise proposals that would have softened the obligations regarding a mandatory distribution key. This attempt, ultimately, bore no fruit either. The Dublin Reform came to a standstill and is not expected to gain steam quickly in 2019. 

Implementing other new instruments of EU migration policy prominently discussed in 2018 also proved difficult. The creation of Regional Disembarkation Platforms in North Africa was met with objections by EU neighbouring States. The idea of Controlled Centres within the EU aimed at facilitating the initial examination of applications and distribution within the EU experienced a similar fate. By contrast, there was a clear commitment to increase the capacities and competencies of the European Coast and Border Guard Agency (Frontex), although again, no final decisions were yet taken. 

All these reform proposals – from distribution quotas to asylum procedures outside the EU – basically have one common objective, namely to decouple an applicant’s asylum procedure from access to EU territory or to the territory of a certain Member State. In other words, the objective is to delink the granting a protection status from immigration into a specific country or to the EU at large. This specific link between immigration and protection in the EU is characteristic of the present system and is a determining factor of irregular migration to the EU. Better organising international protection in the EU context, which is defined by freedom of movement between its Member States is a legitimate yet complex endeavour. It will be decisive in reforming the European migration and asylum system into a responsive and rules-based migration governance system.

Developments in Africa

The images the media often produce suggest that African migration is huge. Compared to many other regions in the world, this is however misleading. When looking at persons who have left their home country from a continental perspective, about 9% of Europeans, 6% of Latin Americans but only 3% of Africans and 2.4% of Asians live outside their home country. In total, there are roughly 36 million African emigrants. About 53% of them have migrated to another African country; 26% (or 9.4 million) to Europe, and another 21% to Asia, North America or Australia. 

More than poverty, it is development combined with economic inequality drive migration. Development provides people with the education, skills, financial means and information to go to a place where the situation is better than at home. This is exactly the situation when it comes to African migration. Many African countries show strong economic development and this trend will continue. However, the average GDP per capita in Europe is about 10 times higher than in many African countries, a disparity that is not expected to change for some time. At the same time, demography will remain an important driver for African migration. There are different scenarios which are closely linked to economic development. The “low-economic-development” scenario speaks about 2.5 billion Africans for the year 2050, a doubling of the current population, and a doubling of the annual African emigration rate from 1.4 million to 2.8 million. The “high-economic-development” scenario estimates a lower African population of 1.8 billion for the year 2050, but a tripling of the annual African emigration rate to 3.5 million. Higher development means lower birth rates but also better education and more financial means for people to move abroad. All evidence up to now points towards the “high-development” scenario. Among the ten fastest growing economies in the world, there are no less than seven African countries. Therefore, we can expect a growth in African migration resulting from significant economic development. Most of these migrants will move within Africa and utilise new opportunities on the continent. Of course, an increasing number of Africans will also try to move to Europe, but a mass exodus is not to be expected, rather gradually increasing numbers. 

It is for these and other reasons that African States, Regional Economic Communities and the African Union Commission (AUC) all placed migration high on the agenda since several years. Not only because of the need for cooperation on migration between Africa and the rest of the world, but especially because of the relevance of the topic for the development of the continent as a whole. The importance of promoting freedom of movement and improved mobility was recognised by the adoption of the ‘Freedom of Movement Protocol. In addition, thanks especially to the efforts and initiatives of the African Union, the continent has one of the most comprehensive policy frameworks and action plans.

Based upon a 2016 review of the existing 2006 AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa (MPFA) a new document was adopted in 2018: the “Migration Policy Framework for Africa and Plan of Action (2018 – 2030)”. The document takes into account AU priorities, policies, Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and international migration management policies and standards. Taking a truly comprehensive approach, it focusses on Migration Governance, Labour Migration and Education, Diaspora Engagement, Border Governance, Irregular Migration, Forced Displacement, Internal Migration and Migration and Trade.

For Africa’s Global and European partners, the developments in Africa create huge opportunities for cooperation. Sharing the positive experiences in establishing the Schengen area or supporting the inclusion of common features in African passports is one area. Another area for cooperation can surely be found in developing skills and opportunities for African entrepreneurs and workers, ensuring that these skills can contribute to both foreign and domestic labour markets.  To make this work a much stronger involvement of the private sector is needed in terms of investment and in terms of know-how on training and professional education. ICMPD is working with a number of private and public sector partners from Europe and Africa to pilot new initiatives.

The need for strong cooperation and mature partnerships

Addressing the challenges of irregular migration will need close international partnerships. It requires a combination of strong regulations and as well as openings for labour migration based on close political cooperation between countries, also with regard to return and reintegration of persons. Intelligent and humane return and reintegration policies and practices are needed which can create triple win situations for sending and receiving States and for migrants who have to return. As an implementing partner, ICMPD supports the Netherlands since June 2018 within the European Return and Reintegration Network to devise such solutions.

Looking ahead, migration governance at global, regional and national level will remain a challenge. The international community of States, organisations and academics actually have many of the insights to manage migration much better. All opportunities for closer and more constructive cooperation should be seized, to work in  a spirit of partnership, of respect and trust. 

The article has been first published in the ICMPD Annual Report 2018.

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Fri, 17 May 2019 09:06:00 +0200
Project News: FReM III Project Organises Two Events in Cyprus https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-frem-iii-project-organises-two-events-in-cyprus/ On 9-10 May 2019 and 13-14 May 2019 ICMPD organised, jointly with the Office of the Commissioner...

The National Training on Escorted Return Operations and Forced-Return Monitoring Mechanisms on 9-10 May 2019 targeted representatives of the national monitoring body and the return enforcing institution in Cyprus. The objective was to equip participants with the knowledge on the relevant aspects related to the implementation of escorted return operations and monitoring their implementation in accordance with Article 8(6) of the Return Directive (2008/115/EC). The training focused on both the national procedures as well as procedures applicable in the framework of Frontex coordinated return operations. It was implemented by trainers from Cyprus, Greece and Portugal as well as representatives of the Frontex Fundamental Rights Office and the European Centre for Returns. 

The Workshop on the Elaboration of a Training Concept on Fundamental Rights and Forced-Return Monitoring for National Escorts on 13-14 May 2019 aimed to agree on a standard training concept and tools for the training on fundamental rights and forced-return monitoring for national escorts. The workshop gathered representatives from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, and Romania. In addition, representatives of the Frontex Fundamental Rights Office and the Training Unit participated in the workshop. The training concept – once finalised – will be presented to escort trainers from Member States during a Training of Trainers later this year. 

The FReM III project supports Member States in building up and strengthening their national forced-return monitoring systems. The system in Cyprus was established by the Ombudsman in June 2018 and since January 2019 the mechanism is able to monitor forced-return operations. In order to further build up their capacities, the Ombudsman Office of Cyprus requested support by the project in form of a national training. 

Forced-return operations have to be conducted in a humane manner, respectful of the dignity of the persons being returned and in full compliance with fundamental rights as enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and applicable international human rights law. FReM III supports the development of a standard fundamental rights training concept for escorts in Member States that shall ultimately contribute to the further harmonisation of the fundamental rights training of escorts on the national level. 

More information about FReM III can be found here.

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Thu, 16 May 2019 14:45:08 +0200
Press Release: Hitting the reset button for a new EU migration policy https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/press-release-hitting-the-reset-button-for-a-new-eu-migration-policy/ ICMPD is teaming up with its Member States to draw up migration policy recommendations for the next...

Europe is arriving at a crucial point in 2019 in terms of finally overcoming its reactive approach after the 2015/16 crisis and developing a future-oriented policy. The new EU Parliament and the new EU Commission must have the necessary groundwork laid from the outset in order to take prompt decisions and actions. 

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) believes the decisive prerequisite for a well-functioning EU migration policy is to reconcile the diverging positions on this subject. To do so, everyone involved must push the reset button together and leave all biases behind. Given its widely varying Member States – from Turkey to Poland to Sweden or Switzerland – ICMPD will develop a broad foundation for recommendations for the new EU leadership with this objective in mind.

Director General Michael Spindelegger explained ICMPD’s special approach: “We can cover both the EU perspective and viewpoints that go beyond it. After all, it is only in tandem with neighboring countries such as the Western Balkans or Turkey that we can come up with a holistic picture and start to bring about practical solutions.”  

This process of hitting the reset button for a new EU migration policy takes place at three main levels. First, the overarching goals must be jointly defined. Second, the external dimension must be addressed, and finally, it is crucial to clarify the internal dimension within which the greatest need for action undoubtedly exists.

The priority issues are to ensure the international protection of refugees, secure external borders, improve efficiency in return operations, bring about international cooperation, and deal with demographic developments and the lack of skilled labor.

With the first seven rounds of consultation now over, structural recommendations are already emerging. To achieve maximum coherence within the subject of migration, some suggestions are being floated. One of the most crucial is at Commission level and entails elevating the EU Commissioner for Migration to the status of a Vice President of the EU Commission. Certain guiding principles are also coalescing within the debate. For instance, the Schengen Agreement is understood as being an absolute priority and non-negotiable.

After the consultations on hitting the reset button for a new EU migration policy are concluded with the ICMPD Member States and a select group of stakeholders, the recommendations will be finalized by the end of June and submitted to the new EU leadership. An ensuing presentation and discussion of the recommendations involving experts and politicians will then be undertaken at the Vienna Migration Conference 2019, which is to be held for the fourth time on 21 and 22 November.

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Mon, 13 May 2019 14:41:28 +0200
Project News: ICMPD and the AIR co-organised the 3rd AIR Diaspora Engagement Forum https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-icmpd-and-the-air-co-organised-the-3rd-air-diaspora-engagement-forum/ From 2-3 May 2019, ICMPD and the African Institute for Remittances (AIR) teamed up to organise the...

The Forum gathered 77 participants representing various African diaspora organisations and experts who took the opportunity to reflect and exchange on the need to develop and increase investment for social and economic development in their countries of origin.

This year’s theme “Creating an Enabling Environment for Upscaling the Potential Impact of Remittances: A Multi-Stakeholder Approach” was approached by 25 speakers through five panels of discussion covering topics,  such as institutionalisation of diaspora initiatives, leveraging remittances for financial inclusion, collective investments and frugal innovations, protecting diaspora investments, and what can work for Africa.

ICMPD’s contribution to the Forum consisted in providing technical expertise on the design of the Forum, as well as participating to the panel sessions. Monica Zanette, MMD Senior Coordinator and Oleg Chirita, Head of Global Initiatives Programme touched upon the importance of engaging diaspora and the significant role ICMPD plays in it. On the occasion of the Forum, ICMPD presented the soon to be launched the EU Global Diaspora Facility, which aims at increasing the efficiency of the engagement and collaboration between governments of countries of origin, diaspora organisations and the EU.

During the discussions, the participants highlighted the need to connect local innovations with diaspora investments through collective and cluster investment approaches. Government, regional and international organisations would need to facilitate this process by formalising and consolidating these initiatives.

Among the main recommendations of the Forum the participants emphasised the need for capacity building of both senders and recipients on financial services that increase financial inclusion, notably the existing e-money initiative, as well as the fact that remittances need to be linked to development.

Diasporas and business agents need to adjust to the existing knowledge on frugal innovations. Also, diaspora are encouraged to make risk assessment before implementation of their investments in the origin countries, and where possible involve experts in the field of investments to do so. At the same time, Diaspora are encouraged to invest in regulated investment funds in countries of origin. Furthermore, there is a need for education and awareness of all stakeholders in fostering diaspora investments via public private partnerships. Finally, in order to tap into their investments’ potential, there is a need to know diaspora better and to understand their needs and interests. 

The MMD Support Project will further support AIR in implementing all recommendations resulted from the discussions at the Forum. 

A video capturing the highlights of the event will be launched on the ICMPD YouTube Channel soon.

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Fri, 10 May 2019 13:06:01 +0200
Project News: Impact of public attitudes to migration on the political environment in the Euro-Mediterranean Region https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-impact-of-public-attitudes-to-migration-on-the-political-environment-in-the-euro-medit/ In the framework of the programme EUROMED Migration IV, ICMPD is developing together with the... In this chapter - the first of three, which will respectively focus on Europe, South Partner Countries and a final one on recommendations - it is considered how and why the dramatic changes in the salience of immigration in recent years have changed European politics. A comprehensive theoretical framework to explain these trends in salience is developed, specifying the respective and interactive roles of public policy, ‘real-world’ migration events and trends, media and politicians, before adducing evidence that supports this framework. A case study on how salience has affected past European Parliamentary elections is presented to analyse possible electoral results of the upcoming elections.

Read more about Impact of Public Attitudes to migration on the political environment in the Euro Mediterranean Region

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Fri, 03 May 2019 09:19:11 +0200
Project News: MMD support project – ADEPT partners with FAO https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-mmd-support-project-adept-partners-with-fao/ The Africa Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT), which ICMPD helped to create and now...

In Brussels, on 4 April 2019, the FAO and ADEPT committed to work together to enhance the positive contribution of migration to agricultural and rural development. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed during the FAO event ‘Food and Agriculture in Times of Crisis’. It will last three years and commits the two organisations to jointly develop, promote and strengthen actions in migration and rural development, with a special focus on the links between migration, agriculture and rural development, and the positive impact of migration for the development of countries of origin. 

FAO recognises the work diaspora communities are already doing in development and seeks to enhance and give visibility to such work through collaboration. Through technical knowledge and capacity, the two organisations will increase diaspora engagement, focusing on agribusiness and resource mobilisation.

Upon signing the memorandum, ADEPT President Khady Sakho Niang expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership, stating “Migration is a development driver generating positive change at the local and international level. The African diaspora is one of the key actors of this process, bringing about financial, intellectual and social contribution. We hope the FAO-ADEPT cooperation will enable us to join energies, knowledge, networks and expertise in two interlinked areas, migration and agriculture, for the benefit of the African people and continent.”

On 28 March, a first demonstration of the collaboration preceded signature of the agreement with the joint ADEPT-FAO webinar on ‘Engaging diaspora in agribusiness by creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth”. 

Read more about how FAO engages diaspora in agribusiness.

Visit ADEPT’s site to learn about its work engaging and empowering the diaspora as development actors.

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Wed, 24 Apr 2019 09:44:39 +0200
Project News: Jordanian authorities launch new national strategy and action plan to prevent Human Trafficking https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-jordanian-authorities-launch-new-national-strategy-and-action-plan-to-prevent-human-tr-1/ With the support of the European Union (EU), the Jordanian authorities hosted a high-level event... The Strategy is a product of three year joint efforts by the Jordanian Technical Committee to Prevent Human Trafficking and several international and non-governmental organisations. It was developed within the framework of “Support to the Mobility Partnership between the European Union and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (JEMPAS)”, a programme funded by the EU and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
The event aimed at promoting the document to the relevant stakeholders in the Kingdom, as well as to present the Strategy objectives and the plan for its implementation in practice, thus providing opportunity for the participants to inform themselves about the structure and the framework of National Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent Human Trafficking in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (2019-2022) and Participate in the dialogue forum on the implementation of the Strategy between Jordanian government officials and professional counterparts from international organisations, civil society, diplomatic and expert circles.
Over 70 state and non-state representatives in the Kingdom have been invited to the promotion, including those actively involved in the development of the Strategy document, such as the Ministries of Justice, Labour, Interior, Social Development and Foreign Affairs, ICMPD, International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Tamkeen Center (Fields for Aid) and the Jordanian Womens’ Union (JWU).
The National Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent Human Trafficking in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (2019-2022) aims at setting a common vision and basis for the Jordanian response to human trafficking, which includes all stakeholders involved in combating human trafficking. This Strategy entails clear strategic priorities to combat human trafficking, describes specific institutional responsibilities and sets concerted procedures to reach strategic priorities. It also strengthens the common understanding on how the crime can be fought and ensures that all stakeholders are committed to support the implementation of the national response to prevent and combat human trafficking.

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 09:13:48 +0200
Project News: National Conference on Migration for Development https://www.icmpd.org//news-centre/news-detail/project-news-national-conference-on-migration-for-development/ The Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) Islamabad in collaboration with the Department of Sociology,... The chief guest of the conference Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai Rector IIU highlighted the consequences of illegal migration for Pakistan and other regions of the world and stressed the need to develop a comprehensive strategy to address this alarming global issue. He also expressed concern on the brain drain issue and its negative impact on the socioeconomic development of Pakistan. He stressed that efforts should be made to create more opportunities for educated and skilled youth to play their vibrant role in the development of our country. Earlier in the opening ceremony Vice President IIU Prof. Dr. Muhammad Tahir Khalili appreciated the conference themes and stressed the need to discuss such significant issues by academicians and practitioners as need of the time.
Ms. Raana Rahim, Country Coordinator, International Center for Migration Policy Development, highlighted the working of ICMPD and its different programs to prevent migrant smuggling and human trafficking and promote orderly migration.
Mr. Shahid Naveed Coordinator MRC briefed the participants of the conference about the interventions of MRC in Pakistan to sensitize people about informed and orderly migration.
The panelists discussed, debated and critically explained the links between migration and development from different perspectives. They also suggested policy measures and strategies for streamlining migration in the best national and international interest.
Dr. Hazir Ullah, Chairman Department of Sociology, thanked all the guest speakers and participants of the conference and appreciated the efforts of organizers (all faculty members of the Department of Sociology and students), especially Dr. Farhan Navid Yousaf, in successfully arranging the conference.

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Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:15:27 +0200