The meeting, conducted in an open and positive atmosphere, was the continuation of the existing constructive dialogue based on partnership and allowed for a comprehensive discussion on all issues covered by the Joint Way Forward. The need to work together toward an effective cooperation on the basis of solidarity and information sharing was reaffirmed by both sides.
The parties agreed on the need to work together on information awareness raising campaigns, to reframe the discourse, to counter the narrative of people smugglers and traffickers and to direct prospective migrants to official sources of information, e.g. websites, providing accurate and updated information on EU asylum, migration and return policy as well as development cooperation projects in Afghanistan.
The fight against smuggling and trafficking in human beings was another subject of discussion. The EU informed about the on-going evaluation of the call for proposals to strengthen law enforcement cooperation to better address migrant smuggling through the joint work of law enforcement authorities in EU Member States on the one hand and law enforcement authorities in Afghanistan on the other.
During the meeting, the parties also reiterated the common aim to ensure a safe, manageable, predictable and dignified return process of the Afghan irregular migrants in the European Union, who have no right to stay in the EU. Reintegration assistance, with a focus on the situation of returnees and programmes for reintegration in communities, was an important subject of discussion, during which notably the situation of vulnerable groups has been addressed.
The next meeting of the Joint Working Group is to take place in the second half of 2017 in Kabul.