Representatives of the European Union and the International Organization for Migration (IOM, the UN migration agency) met in Brussels today to discuss the way forward on some of the most pressing issues linked to migration, including managing migration flows, better protection of vulnerable migrants, the UN Global Compact on Migration, cooperation on forced displacement and development, and on return and reintegration of migrants.
Migration remains a key issue for the EU. To this end, the EU's work on migration continues towards a comprehensive response, combining internal and external policies, making best use of EU agencies and tools, and involving all actors. The IOM is a trusted and reliable partner in these efforts, building on a close and long-standing partnership. This is particularly true for the situation in Libya, where the close co-operation between the EU and IOM and other UN agencies – together with the African Union – has started to show results. In the common endeavour to save and protect lives the joint AU-EU-UN Taskforce which was set up in Abidjan in November 2017 helped more than 15,000 migrants return to their homes from Libya through the voluntary humanitarian returns programme.
The EU and its Member States remain one of the largest contributors to IOM's budget, with more than half of the funding coming from the EU budget.
Today's meeting is part of a regular high-level dialogue between the EU and IOM which aims to support exchanges and closer cooperation between the two partners. It was hosted on behalf of the European Commission by Christian Danielsson, Director-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. Director-General William Lacy Swing and Deputy Director General Laura Thompson took part on behalf on the IOM. Other senior representatives included Monique Pariat, Director-General for for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, Simon Mordue, Deputy Director General for Migration and Home Affairs, Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Development and Marc Giacomini, Deputy Managing Director, Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues, European External Action Service.