Valletta Summit: While addressing the immediate crisis, long-term measures need to be pursued

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-- Interview opportunities on-site in Valletta (English, French, German) --

To address the migration crisis and to start making migration better, a set of coherent and comprehensive policies is essential. However this is not sufficient: there is also a need for ‘delivery coherence’. This means: a framework for implementation of the agreed actions, a set of clear goals, timelines, and a robust monitoring system. Also, policy makers need to get better at explaining what they are doing.

VALLETTA 12 November 2015 -- Sixty million people are currently displaced globally. Hundreds of thousands Syrians have fled from their homes and shelters this summer alone, fearing violence, abuse, war and death. The countries where these displaced people are transiting or seeking refuge are increasingly overwhelmed.

“There is no doubt that we need to respond more effectively to the immediate humanitarian crisis” ICMPD’s Lukas Gehrke said at the Valletta Summit on migration. As an international organisation, ICMPD has been pointing to the shortfalls of the current response to the refugee crisis, such as insufficient pledges for global resettlement and the need for safe passage, over the past months. “While focusing on the immediate and urgent, we must put in place long-term measures.” Mr Gehrke added. 

The Valletta Summit on migration is ending today, 12 November. The draft declaration and action plan to be adopted indeed place a clear priority on long term measures to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement. 

“A coherent and comprehensive set of policies is essential. However this is not sufficient: What we also need is ‘delivery coherence’.” Lukas Gehrke, Director Southern Dimension at ICMPD underlines. This means: a framework for implementation of the agreed actions, a set of clear goals, timelines, and a robust monitoring system.

Long term measures should, amongst others, promote mobility between Africa and Europe. Legal migration needs to become a real option for people. Migration can be an enabler for socio-economic development of countries of origin and destination if properly managed and regulated. 

Equally in the long run, international protection and asylum should work more effectively and become a shared responsibility between Africa and Europe. Both sides need to invest in this area by strengthening the rule of law and governance, ensuring the respect for human rights. Also, the fight against smuggling and trafficking in human beings needs to continue. Africa and Europe can work more closely together on information sharing and step up operational cooperation to fight organised crime. 

Ultimately, an international migration system will remain incomplete if it does not contain provisions for those that do not have the right to remain on the territory of a state. Return and readmission needs to be addressed in a way that ensures and respects the uncontested rights and dignity of returnees

“It must be clear that results in all these areas will take time, and I am afraid: there are no shortcuts.” ICMPD’s Lukas Gehrke said. In the coming years, ICMPD will continue to facilitate dialogue and informal consultations between Africa and the EU and support the African partners through concrete technical assistance and capacity development projects. 

Because of this long-term perspective, policy makers need to get better at explaining what they are doing. The wider public needs to draw confidence from their governments’ ability to manage migration better – better in terms of making it safe, legal and voluntary. 

A robust monitoring system that shows progress in the implementation of policies, also those agreed at the Valletta Summit, will be key for this purpose.





To arrange an interview with Lukas Gehrke, Director Southern Dimension at ICMPD, on-site at the Valletta Summit (in English, French or German) please contact ICMPD’s Communications Officer Sonia Niżnik on or +43 676 714 7002.


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