Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: “Migration is a global phenomenon that requires a comprehensive response and global synergies. No single country or organisation can address this challenge alone. Our cooperation with the International Organization for Migration is a key element in our comprehensive approach to managing migration operationally and in all aspects and I am glad to have today the opportunity to strengthen ties with such a trusted and long-standing partner.”
IOM Director General, António Vitorino, is participating for the first time in the EU-IOM Senior Officials Meeting since his appointment to the helm of the Organization last year. He welcomed the continued strategic dialogue between IOM and the EU at a time when ever deeper cooperation is needed to address the growing migration challenges and the opportunities it offers: “The relationship between IOM and the European Union rests on long-standing dialogue and cooperation around the world, and we have seen this partnership bear fruit across the migration spectrum. Global events impacting migration flows concern us all. It is in our collective interest to strengthen the collaborative structures we have already built – for example through the African Union - European Union - United Nations Joint Task Force on Migrant Protection in Libya, and the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration – and forge ahead with a more durable and strategic management of migration in all its dimensions.”
The EU and IOM regularly exchange on strategic and operational approaches to addressing global migration and forced displacement challenges, with discussions focusing today on the state of play of migration at the global level, the way forward on cooperation on protection in mixed migration contexts, and cooperation on return and sustainable reintegration.
The EU and its Member States are among the largest contributors to IOM’s budget. Between 2015 and 2018, the European Commission contracted IOM for about 420 projects worldwide with an approximate value of EUR 1.3 billion. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has been one of the most significant and innovative EU instruments in this regard.
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Today’s meeting is part of a regular high-level dialogue between the EU and IOM aimed at supporting exchange and closer cooperation between the two partners. The EU and IOM established in July 2012 a strategic framework for cooperation to enhance collaboration on migration, development, humanitarian response and human rights issues, building on both partners’ shared interest in bringing the benefits of well-managed international migration to migrants and society.
This year’s meeting – the sixth of its kind since the launch of the EU-IOM Strategic Cooperation Framework – is hosted on behalf of the European Commission by Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs, Paraskevi Michou. Director General, António Vitorino, and Deputy Director General, Laura Thompson, are participating on behalf of the IOM. Other senior representatives of the European Commission include Monique Pariat, Director-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, Stefano Manservisi, Director General for International Cooperation and Development, Maciej Popowski, Deputy Director General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations and Lotte Knudsen, Managing Director for Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues of the European External Action Service.