Events in the Southern Mediterranean since the end of 2010, known popularly as the "Arab Spring", provided a unique opportunity for citizens of these countries to express their desire for democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms. These events also led to significant population movements, mainly from the Southern Mediterranean countries towards their immediate neighbors as well as towards the EU. The EU immediately took action to deal with the migration crisis and proposed a set of concrete measures [727 KB] to address the issue in the longer term. Among these, the Dialogue on migration, mobility and security, which may lead to the negotiation of mobility partnerships, is an important framework for the EU to strengthen ties with its Southern neighbors. Morocco is the first country from the Mediterranean region to enter into a mobility partnership with the EU and negotiations are on-going with Tunisia. A Dialogue with Jordan has also started.
Relations with the Southern Mediterranean countries on migration-related issues are strategic, aimed at facilitating mobility but discouraging irregular migration. The EU’s policy framework for dialogue and cooperation on migration with non-EU countries is presented in the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM). It is within this framework that the EU has proposed to establish structured dialogues on migration, mobility and security to the Southern Mediterranean countries [57 KB].
The dialogues are launched progressively taking into account the overall relationship that the EU maintains with each partner country, the current level of capacity in the partner country to manage migration flows and the willingness of the latter to engage in a constructive and effective dialogue aimed at establishing the partnership.
The goal is to develop mobility partnerships, ensuring that the movement of persons between the EU and its partner countries is well managed and takes place in a secure environment. These partnerships are tailor-made to fit each partner country, in cooperation with EU States.
Once concluded, mobility partnerships will ensure that:
The implementation of the mobility partnerships will include opening negotiations on an agreement for facilitating the issuing of Schengen visas for certain groups of people, particularly students, researchers and business professionals. Sufficient safeguards must be in place for the lifting of mobility restrictions to work. Partners must ensure that they take every possible measure to prevent irregular migration and to this end, agree to conclude a readmission agreement allowing for the return of citizens who do not have the right to stay in Europe.
The EU and Morocco have agreed a mobility partnership . The Commission is negotiating a mobility partnership with Tunisia and has initiated a Dialogue on migration, mobility and security with Jordan.
Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Internal Affairs and the Ministers responsible for migration from nine EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) signed a mobility partnership with Morocco on 7 June 2013.
The Political Declaration of the mobility partnership sets out the objectives of the Partnership and the priorities of the EU and Morocco. It is accompanied by an annex describing the specific initiatives which will be taken in order to put this partnership into practice. The EU will provide substantial financial and technical support to implement the mobility partnership.
Regional relations between the EU and Southern Mediterranean countries started in 1995 with the Euro-Mediterranean conference in Barcelona. An action plan encompassing points on migration, social integration, justice and security, as well as a code of conduct for counter-terrorism , were adopted in 2005. A first-ever Euro-Mediterranean ministerial meeting on migration took place in Albufeira (Portugal) in 2007 which led to the adoption of ministerial conclusions to increase cooperation at regional level in the field of migration.
At national level, the EU concluded Association Agreements with each and every Southern Mediterranean country (except Libya and Syria), which were subsequently complemented by European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plans. The EU and the Southern Mediterranean countries monitor together the implementation of these documents. Cooperation and reforms in the areas of migration and security are promoted and supported through several EU funding programmes, in particular the Euromed Migration and the Euromed police projects.
In a general sense, the act or process of going back to the point of departure. This could be within the territorial ...
Provide the overall framework for managing various forms of legal movement between the EU and non-EU ...
The movement of a person or a group of persons, either across an international border (international migration),...
A broader-term of an immigrant and emigrant, referring to a person who leaves one country or region to settle in ...
Migration that occurs through recognised, authorised channels.
The movement of a person to a new place of residence or transit using irregular or illegal means, without valid ...