The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union are key partners in developing responses to the growing challenges and opportunities presented by migration in the 21st century. On Wednesday 1 October, senior officials from the European Commission (DG HOME, DG DEVCO and DG ECHO), the European External Action Service and IOM meet to exchange views and identify mutual priorities on current and future challenges in the field of migration.
The main issues EU and IOM officials are to discuss include: the EU Strategic Guidelines for Justice and Home Affairs; addressing the root causes of irregular and forced migration; holistic and sustainable approaches to return and reintegration; multiple complex crises with a migration dimension; and the climate change, environmental degradation and migration nexus.
This is the second Senior Officials Meeting held within the EU-IOM Strategic Cooperation Framework, which was established in July 2012.
To enhance their collaboration on migration, development, humanitarian response and human rights issues, three European Commission services (DG HOME, DG DEVCO, DG ECHO) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) established a Strategic Cooperation Frameworkwith IOM in July 2012. The Framework builds on a shared interest in bringing the benefits of well managed international migration to migrants and society. It also serves as a basis for the exchanges, development and structuring of the relationship between the EU and IOM. The Strategic Cooperation Framework follows on the Framework Agreement that was signed by the EU and IOM in November 2011 to facilitate the already existing day-to-day cooperation in the area of migration and mobility by simplifying and streamlining the procedure for contractual negotiations.
Senior Officials Meetings (SOM) are held to foster dialogue and cooperation on key policy issues, best practices, as well as legislative and operational initiatives. The second SOM takes place on 1 October 2014. The EU will be represented by Pierre Vimont, Executive Secretary General, EEAS; Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, Director General, DG DEVCO; Claus Sørensen, Director General, DG ECHO; and Matthias Ruete, Director General, DG HOME. IOM will be represented by Ambassador William L. Swing, Director General, and Ambassador Laura Thompson, Deputy Director General. They will exchange views on the EU Strategic Guidelines for Justice and Home Affairs, the root causes of irregular and forced migration, return and reintegration, dealing with multiple complex crises, and climate change, environmental degradation and migration. In addition to the yearly Senior Officials Meeting, meetings are held between the EU and IOM at the Heads of Unit/Division and expert levels.