European Union External Action

Remarks by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press point with the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing

Bruxelles, 15/12/2016 - 13:35, UNIQUE ID: 161215_11
Remarks

Remarks by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press point with the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing

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First of all, I would like to thank Director General [William Lacy] Swing for an excellent work he does, the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) does and we do together and today we are increasing the level of our cooperation.

Commissioner [for International Cooperation and Development, Neven] Mimica will go more into details, but I would like to draw the framework of that cooperation that for us is a top political priority, especially in managing migration flows with a strong attention to human rights, protection and promotion and full respect of international humanitarian law.
 
We just met with the President of Niger [Mahamadou] Issoufou and Niger is indeed one of the places where the cooperation between the European Union, the country, the partner country itself and the IOM is exemplary. We support for instance in Niger the IOM centre that assists migrants who embarked on one of the most dangerous routes, through the desert, and then leading to one of the most dangerous scenarios, Libya and then the Mediterranean Sea. And the purpose of this is not as sometimes it is portrayed, stopping the flows, but assisting people on a dangerous route. And for me the powerful message that we just heard for instance from the President of Niger: that of feeling the moral duty and pressure from their side to save lives of so many Africans that embark on this dangerous journey is the way to follow.
 
The cooperation with the IOM for the European Union is the way to increase the effectiveness of the work we do in managing migration and again, today, we are increasing the instruments we have and the resources we have to cooperate together: €100 million to support partner countries, 14 partner countries in West Africa in managing migration and assisting migrants; protection and assistance for vulnerable and stranded migrants – 60.000 of them; and voluntary return and sustainable reintegration, which means accompanying the reintegration of those who want to go back, of up to 24.000 people stranded in Africa but also in Europe; and then capacity-building for governments and partners that is also essential because, as I had the occasion of saying to the European Parliament just the day before yesterday, for us the key point in this is putting human rights at the centre of managing migration worldwide.
 
I would like to close by thanking two Member States in particular, Germany and Italy, that are contributing today to the EU Trust Fund with €70 million jointly and €100 million are from this EU Trust Fund, to which Italy and Germany contribute in such a relevant manner.
This is to me a perfect example of first cooperation partnership between the IOM and the European Union, so our way of dealing with migration into the global bigger framework but also a perfect example of how EU institutions and Member States can coordinate actions and funds, to make our work more effective. We always say speaking with one voice, but it's beyond that - also acting with one common sense.
 
So, thank you for the excellent work that the IOM is doing, for your personal determination and commitment and also for an excellent cooperation we have developed and we will develop even further, including in difficult places such as Libya where the IOM is still operating under very difficult and challenging circumstances; and the European Union supporting this work, including in Libya - we are going to expand this work as well. Thank you.
 
Link to the video (remarks): http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I131190
 
Link to the video (handshake): http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I131198

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