The key objective of AU-EU cooperation in the area of mobility and migration is to foster connections between migration and development.
This can be achieved by:
- Reducing the cost of remittances.
- Improving the organisation of labour mobility.
- Enhancing cooperation to address people trafficking and irregular migration.
- Collaborating on international protection and asylum.
In the context of the C2CMMD the following priorities have been identified and have fostered concrete collaboration.
The EU is working with the African Institute of Remittances (AIR), developing the capacity of Member States of the African Union, remittance senders and recipients and other stakeholders to implement concrete strategies and operational instruments to use remittances as development tools for poverty reduction. Amongst other things, the AIR’s activity has led to an increased use of formal channels and has contributed to reducing the cost of remittances, with an increase in suppliers in the digital space, thereby making prices more competitive.
Intelligence/ Information Sharing on Anti-Trafficking/ Anti-Smuggling
The Regional Operational Centre in support of the Khartoum Process and AU-Horn of Africa Initiative (ROCK) was adopted at the end of 2016 with the overall objective to reduce the number of incidents of human trafficking and people smuggling through an enhanced regional capacity to better track and share information on irregular migration flows and associated criminal networks, and to develop common strategies and shared tools to fight human trafficking and people smuggling. With the EU support the ROCK has been able to stop some traffickers already and the AU has adopted at its 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, which took place in Addis Ababa on 9-10 February 2020, the Statute for the Establishment of Continental Operational Centre in Sudan for Combating Irregular Migration.
A Technical (Joint) Working Group (TWG) for developing and overseeing transitional measures from ROCK to the Continental Operational Centre has been set up and is working on a roadmap to ensure a smooth transition.
Return, Readmission and Reintegration
The issue of return, readmission and reintegration has, over time, become also an issue of the CRCMMD dialogue and with EU support a continental seminar and a study on Return, Readmission and Reintegration Programmes in Africa was undertaken and recently launched on 23rd June 2021. The joint EU AU work in this area aims at building stable, safe and sustainable reintegration of returnees.
Support to the AU Free Movement Protocol
EU aims at contributing with its various European Commission Directorates General involved in the free movement of people to mobilise resources to share information and experiences with the AU.
Legal Pathways for Migration
Based on an EU non-paper, the AU will consult the EU acquis on the options for expansion of legal pathways for migration to identify how to make best use of the existing opportunities.
DG HOME will prepare a structured intervention on this matter drawing upon the orientations and work programme arising from the EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum.
The 5th AU-EU Summit also established a Joint AU-EU-UN Taskforce, with the aim to save and protect lives of migrants and refugees along the Central Mediterranean route and in particular inside Libya. The three parties have since then met regularly, both at technical and political level, accelerating the assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin and the resettlement of those in need of international protection. This action builds on, expands and accelerates the ongoing work done by countries of origin, and the IOM, with EU funding. The joint efforts have enabled the voluntary evacuation, to their countries of origin or the Emergency Transit Centre in Rwanda, of more than 100,000 stranded migrants in Libya. The work of the Task Force is closely coordinated with the Libyan authorities and will be part of the overall joint work that the AU, EU, and UN will intensify to dismantle traffickers and criminal networks, and to offer opportunities for development and stability to countries of origin and transit.