Cooperation with Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ethiopia under the new "Partnership Framework on migration" has yielded first results. This is what the Commission's first progress report shows.
The Partnership Framework approach changes the way the EU, together with its Member States, manages mobility and migration with third countries of origin and transit. The aim of the so-called "migration compacts" with priority countries is to reduce flows of illegal migration by disrupting the business model of smugglers and opening legal channels of migration, increase return rates, and address root causes of irregular migration.
This new approach maximises synergies and leverage of the Union's internal and external policies and tools and enables all actors – Member States, EU institutions and key third countries – to work together in a more targeted, coordinated and flexible manner.
Since its launch in June 2016, the work carried out with the first five priority countries Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ethiopia has started to yield tangible results, for example:
• Niger has taken action tocombat migrant smuggling and set up an institutional framework for managing the migration dialogue with the EU and its Member States;
• Strengthened operational cooperation is being put in place with Senegal and Mali, with identification missions agreed for the coming weeks;
• Negotiations on a Readmission Agreement with Nigeria will open in the coming days. Actions with other partner countries has continued and will be further intensified in the coming months;
• The EU has stepped up its support through its missions under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), through its technical assistance and its financial tools, in particular the EU Trust Fund for Africa;
• A total of 24 projects funded by the Trust Fund for Africa, for over €425 million, will have been launched in the five priority countries by the end of 2016,
• In Niger, the EU is providing support through the new field office of EUCAP Sahel Niger in Agadez;
• The Commission has further adopted a decision to increase the EU Trust Fund for Africa by a further € 500 million from the European Development Fund to finance actions under the partnership framework.
• Over the next months, European Migration Liaison Officers will be posted in key third countries to serve as focal points in EU Delegations;
• Identification missions to the priority countries will be carried out jointly with Member States and EU agencies' involvement, in particular of European Border and Coast Guards and EUROPOL.
In the press conference following the adoption of the report, EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini underlined that the EU-Turkey Statement is not a blue-print for these "migration compacts" and that the situations and mechanisms are very different. She also announced that Lebanon and Jordan will be the next countries with which to agree and implement such compacts.