Migration and Asylum

Effectively managing the opportunities and challenges which are part and parcel of dealing with all migratory flows is an EU priority which requires the deployment of policies and measures on both the external and internal fronts. In recent years, the EU’s external borders – above all those in the Mediterranean Sea  - have been the scene of human tragedies that have catalysed a series of concrete actions at the level of the European Union: no EU country can or should be left alone to address sudden, large and diverse migratory pressures. Working together – and in close partnership with other countries and key UN agencies and international organisations based here in Geneva –must be a hallmark of our approach.

The EU's approach to migration and asylum

People try to reach Europe for different reasons and through different channels. They look for legal pathways, but they risk also their lives, to escape from political oppression, war and poverty, as well as to find family reunification, entrepreneurship, knowledge and education. Europe should continue to be a safe haven for those fleeing persecution as well as an attractive destination for the talent and entrepreneurship of students, researchers and workers. Upholding our international commitments and values while securing our borders and at the same time creating the right conditions for Europe's economic prosperity and societal cohesion in a globalised world is a difficult balancing act that requires coordinated action at the European level.

The European Union Agenda on migration presented by the European Commission in May 2015 sets out a European response, combining internal and external policies, making best use of EU agencies and tools, and involving all actors: EU countries and institutions, international organisations, civil society, local authorities and national partners outside the EU. The European Agenda on Migration responds to the priorities identified in the Political Guidelines of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker .

A number of important decisions have been taken by EU Heads of State and Government (Special meeting of the European Council, 23 April 2015 ) & (European Council conclusions, 25-26 June 2015 pdf - 41 KB [41 KB] ) and further legislative work is ongoing.

Managing Migration Globally

Migration management is an important international matter and a shared responsibility, not only among the EU with EU Member States, but also vis-à-vis countries of transit and origin of migrants. The EU's Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) is the overarching framework for the EU external migration policy, complementary to its foreign policy and development cooperation. It was renewed in May 2012. It aims at increasing EU dialogue and cooperation with countries of origin and transit in order to manage migration flows more effectively and is built around four pillars:

1. Organising and facilitating legal migration and mobility;

2. Preventing and reducing irregular migration and trafficking in human beings;

3. Promoting international protection and the external dimension of asylum policy; and

4. Maximising the development impact of migration and mobility.

The EU, An Active partner in Geneva on Migration and Asylum

Migration is becoming more important in international and multilateral discussions and actions and the EU is an active participant to these discussions in Geneva and elsewhere.

In Geneva particularly, the EU engages in the following fora:

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

Other Geneva based migration fora

EU statements on migration and asylum

You can find all EU statements delivered in Geneva on migration and asylum here

Latest news on migration and asylum

25/06/15 - Protection at Sea, debate in the margins of the UNHCR Standing Committee: the EU supports a comprehensive approach

20/06/15 - World Refugee Day: Nearly 60 million people displaced worldwide

15/06/15 - 29th session of the Human Rights Council starts with a focus on migration

More news