Refugee Protection & Migration


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The European Union and its Member States have progressively put in place a comprehensive external migration policy and strengthened the work along the Central Mediterranean route. Saving and protecting the lives of migrants and refugees, breaking the business model of smugglers and traffickers and providing legal pathways, while addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement: these are the aims at the very heart of the EU's policy.

In 2019, the total number of arrivals to Spain via the Western Mediterranean route decreased substantially
(47%) in comparison to 2018. This change reflects the effectiveness of efforts made by the EU, in close
cooperation with Morocco and Spain. The European Union has implemented an integrated approach in its
migration policy, across all migratory routes. This involves saving and protecting people's lives at sea; tackling irregular migration; fighting the business model of smugglers and traffickers, supporting migrants and refugees along the route; and creating legal pathways and economic opportunities as alternatives to irregular migration. This is done in close and mutually beneficial cooperation with partner countries and international organizations.

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission Amira El Fadil, UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and IOM Director General António Vitorino in the margins of the 74th United Nations General Assembly.


Fighting and preventing migrant smuggling, and appropriately addressing trafficking in human beings including in the context of migration, are among core priorities of the European Union and a crucial element in providing a comprehensive response to irregular migration. Criminal networks take advantage of people’s despair and use land, sea and air routes to facilitate irregular migration. They put people’s lives at risk and seek in every way to maximise their profits. While trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling are two different crimes and therefore subject to different legal frameworks they are closely interlinked. In recent years, the EU has put in place concrete actions and stepped up cooperation at EU level and with non-EU countries and organisations.

The European Union stands with the people of Venezuela and is at the forefront of the international mobilisation to solve the crisis in the country and support a political, democratic, peaceful and Venezuelan-owned solution.

On 23 September, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini chaired the 4th ministerial meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG) on Venezuela in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. She announced that, together with UNHCR and IOM, the EU will co-host an International Solidarity Conference on Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis in Brussels on 28-29 October 2019.


Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, held today a phone call with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi.


“My ID-entity” photo exhibit

Scenes of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, the world’s largest refugee camp, where the EU and the UN Refugee Agency register and provide humanitarian support to Rohingya refugees.

EU-Niger relations