MEDIA BRIEF: Can Valletta deliver on making migration better? Five things to look out for at the summit

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VALLETTA, 9 November 2015 -- This Wednesday and Thursday, 11-12 November, heads of states and government from the EU and Africa are meeting in Valletta for a summit on migration. At this meeting, African and European partners are meant to demonstrate that they share a joint will to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on migration issues.  Heads of states of 36 African and 31 European countries were invited and will adopt a political declaration as well as an action plan. 

Discussions at the summit will tackle five priority areas: root causes of irregular migration, legal migration, international protection and asylum, trafficking of migrants as well as cooperation on return and readmission. 

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is accomplishing considerable work on all 5 priority areas of the Valletta Summit and has been a key facilitator of EU-Africa dialogue and cooperation on migration and mobility. 

ICMPD provided its expertise during the summit preparations and will take part in the discussions at the meeting. ICMPD analysts are available for interviews with media. 

Lukas Gehrke, Director Southern Dimension said before the summit: “It is imperative to overcome the dichotomy of more or less migration and think in terms of better migration.” He added: “We need to formulate a global response to the persisting dysfunctionality of the international migration system. Only then will we be able to make international migration the positive force it can be.”

Can Valletta deliver on making migration better? ICMPD points to five noteworthy things about the summit:  


  1. The Valletta Summit is the first meeting between African and EU leaders exclusively focusing on migration. International migration has become a top priority – and must stay one. Though, the heads of states don’t start from scratch: the Valletta summit builds on existing frameworks for dialogue and cooperation in migration between African and EU states, such as the well-established Rabat Process, the recently initiated Khartoum Process, as well as the inter-continental Africa-EU Partnership. Leaders should now aim at boosting the cooperation, making it more comprehensive, more coherent, and more consistent.  

  2. A clearer commitment to stabilisation, good governance and development cooperation. The declaration places a clear priority on investing in socio-economic development, as well as tackling instability and crises, in order to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement.  It also acknowledges the role migration has in global development. 

  3. The political declaration comes with an action plan, also defining timelines for measures starting in the short term. For each of the five priority areas, the action plan sets out concrete measures (a set of key initiatives proposed is to be implemented by the end of 2016 at the latest). This allows to move from ‘policy coherence’ to ‘delivery coherence’ in practice. 

  4. Funding is allocated for the implementation of the action plan. At the Valletta Summit the ‘Africa Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons’ will be established The EU has already pledged 1.8 billion EUR and expects the 28 EU Member States to pitch in, too. This fund should be the tool to ensure ‘delivery coherence’ that will make a real impact, building upon and upscaling existing programmes and initiatives.

  5. Leaders are called upon to formulate strategies aimed at making migration and mobility between Africa and the EU more orderly. The summit should create greater consensus on how to practically address complex issues, for instance, sharing responsibility in international  protection,  facilitating mobility and cooperation on return. There is no single country that can effectively manage migration alone. Africa needs Europe and Europe needs Africa, and both sides have to recognise each other’s specific circumstances, priorities and requirements. A balanced approach – this means attaching equal importance to all five priority areas of the summit – is the key to sustainable political commitment, and to better manage international migration. 

To arrange an interview with ICMPD experts attending the Valletta Summit, please contact ICMPD’s Communications Officer Sonia Niżnik on or +43 676 714 7002.

ICMPD experts attending the Valletta Summit: 

Lukas Gehrke, Director Southern Dimension (interviews in EN, DE)

Ralph Genetzke, Head of ICMPD Brussels Mission (interviews in EN, FR, DE)



ICMPD paper
: Analysis of the political commitments of the Rabat Process, the Khartoum Process and the Africa–EU Dialogue on Migration

ICMPD paper
: Suggestions for the Valletta Summit Action Plan

: The evolution of the Rabat Process 2006-2014


EC Factsheet
EU-Africa cooperation in migration 



The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) has been a facilitator of EU-Africa dialogue and cooperation on migration and mobility. It will implement support projects ensuring the follow-up on the outcomes of the Valletta Summit.

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development is a key player in the migration field. The organisation has 15 member states and carries out activities throughout the world, also in Sub-Saharan Africa. Besides its mission in Brussels, ICMPD has project offices in 7 countries, including in Nigeria and Tunisia

Founded in 1993, ICMPD served as a support mechanism for informal consultations and to provide expertise in multilateral cooperation on migration and asylum issues. The principles of partnership and balancing of interests are the foundation of the organisation. 


Support to Africa – EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue: This project aims at improving the governance of migration and mobility within Africa and between Africa and the EU, and enhancing the role of African diaspora as development actors. Facilitating follow-up to the Valletta Summit outcomes. 

Countries: North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, Europe


Supporting the third phase of the Rabat Process: The Rabat Process brings together governments of 55 European and African countries. It established a solid and fruitful dialogue between all involved partners, and has fostered enhanced cooperation through the implementation of concrete projects, e.g. in the field of diaspora engagement or asylum and international protection. 

Countries: 55 European and African countries from North, West and Central Africa


Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa: This project aims at improving free movement of persons and migration management in West Africa by supporting the effective implementation of the ECOWAS Free Movement of Persons’ Protocols and the ECOWAS Common Approach on Migration.

Countries: 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States


Euromed Migration: This project support EU Member States and Mediterranean partner countries in enhancing a comprehensive, constructive and operational dialogue and cooperation framework on migration. It focuses on reinforcing instruments and capacities to develop and implement evidence-based and coherent migration and international protection policies.

Countries: EU, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, (Libya), Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, (Syria), Tunisia


Migration EU Expertise (MIEUX): This project is providing short-term expertise to partner countries to enhance migration governance. Aiming at improvement of migration governance at national and regional levels by strengthening the capacities of public authorities to better manage migration and mobility in all its dimensions through the provision of rapid, short-term and small-scale peer-to-peer expertise assistance.

Countries: global, strong focus on Sub-Saharan Africa


Border Management and Border Communities in the Sahel region: The project aims at developing strategies to improve interaction of legitimate State border management authorities with local population in three trans-boundary areas of the Sahel. 

Countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger


More information about ICMPD’s work


Photo: UNHCR / A. Rodriguez