The Egypt-EU Migration Dialogue was formally launched by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Sameh SHOUKRY, and EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris AVRAMOPOULOS, on the 16th of December in Cairo.  It is followed by a Senior Officials Meeting on the 17th of December.

The Dialogue will cover all migration-related issues, from the fight against smuggling and trafficking to the promotion of legal channels of migration and mobility, and from the prevention of irregular migration to the protection of asylum seekers and refugees, in a comprehensive and balanced approach. It will contribute to identifying joint EU-Egypt initiatives with a view to addressing common migration challenges both in the short and longer term. It will promote mutual understanding and information-sharing, exchange of best practices and expertise, as well as capacity building.

Commissioner Avramopoulos said: “Egypt is a strategic partner for the EU on many fronts.   We share a common interest in securing sustainable stability and security in Egypt and the surrounding region, as well as in managing migration better together. Today we make an important step ahead in EU-Egypt cooperation for the coming years, which is equally beneficial for our societies as well as for the migrants themselves.”

The Egypt-EU Migration Dialogue fits into the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities 2017-2020 that were jointly adopted in July 2017. The Dialogue will facilitate a closer strategic engagement and cooperation on migration between both sides. It embeds the issue of migration within the overall bilateral relationship between Egypt and the European Union, seeking coherence with other priority areas on economic reform, social and economic development. The Dialogue takes into account the existing processes on migration, including the Khartoum Process and the follow-up to the November 2015 Valletta Summit through implementation of the Summit’s Political Declaration and Action Plan

Development benefits of migration and addressing root causes of irregular migration, agreeing on the opportunity to use all available tools in addressing the root causes of irregular migration and support the resilience of refugees, migrants and host communities

Legal migration and mobility, focusing on ways to advance legal pathways for migration, labour migration and circular migration schemes, at bilateral and regional level

Prevention of irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings, agreeing on strengthened strategic cooperation to prevent irregular migration and tackle migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings, including at regional level and through reinforced cooperation between the Egyptian authorities and EU agencies, operations and programmes, and complemented by a renewed engagement on counter terrorism cooperation

Return, readmission and reintegration, exploring opportunities provided by elaborating an integrated approach towards return, including through support to sustainable voluntary return and reintegration schemes

Global responsibility and migration, exchanging on efforts and expectations towards ongoing regional migration processes as the Global Compact on Migration and Refugees, the follow-up to the Valetta Summit and Egypt’s role within the Khartoum process and opportunities to increase cooperation and coordination in this framework

The first meeting of the Egypt-EU Migration Dialogue confirmed the common interest and mutual benefit for the EU and Egypt to work more closely together on migration, seizing the many opportunities that it represents while tackling the challenges together, in a comprehensive and balanced approach. On the eve of International Migrants Day, Egypt and the EU confirmed their commitment to work more closely together to defend and protect the rights of migrants around the world and work towards safe, regular and orderly migration.