The EU-CELAC migration project aims at strengthening the dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and at establishing management models on migration and development policies.
The priorities and instruments of the EU's external migration policy were first defined in 2005 by the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM). Regional, sub-regional and bilateral migration dialogues are key tools for implementing the GAMM. In June 2009, the EU-LAC Structured and Comprehensive Dialogue on Migration was launched at the Lima summit with the objective of identifying common challenges and areas for mutual cooperation as well as building a stronger evidence base for EU-LAC migration in order to better understand its realities, based on the principles of shared responsibility, strengthened commitment and willingness to discuss migration issues.
The VI EU-LAC Summit in May 2010 saw EU-LAC Heads of State and Government undertake further commitments and adopt specific initiatives in the area of migration. In particular, Chapter 4 of the Madrid Action Plan (2010-2012) aspires to facilitate the exchange of information on migration flows, as well as to strengthen policies aimed at linking migration and development, amongst others through a 'Targeted Project' dedicated to strengthening the EU-LAC dialogue and cooperation in this field. Adopted at the EU-CELAC Summit in January 2013, the Santiago Declaration recalled the commitments undertaken at the Lima and Madrid summits, expressing continued support to strengthening the EU-CELAC Dialogue on Migration. The IX High Level Meeting of the Structured and Comprehensive EU-CELAC Dialogue on Migration held in Brussels on 13 November 2014 reiterated the importance of addressing migration-related issues for both regions.
The implementation period started in January 2011 for an initial duration of 48 months. The operational phase has been extended by six months and will end in July 2015. The programme is entirely financed by the EU with a total budget of €3 million. It is implemented jointly by IOM (International Organization for Migration) in partnership with FIIAPP (Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas).
The project consists of the following three components:
- Strengthening data collection on migration, in order to promote better knowledge of migration flows via collecting, processing and exchange of data for countries with significant migration towards the EU, including training and capacity building of national administrations to produce and update data and analyses (led by IOM);
- Building capacity for promoting sound migration management through the implementation of reintegration policies for migrants wishing to return to their communities of origin (led by FIIAPP);
- Promoting productive investment of remittances by enhancing capacities of the recipient communities to make best use of these monetary flows, and by involving diaspora organisations in local development strategies (jointly led by both organisations).
The project has trained over 350 civil servants representing 150 institutions and covering 30 countries in the CELAC and EU region through workshops, training courses and internships for civil servants from CELAC and the EU. As part of the programme, several migratory profiles, studies, analyses, handbooks and a manual were created.
In Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay, institutional mechanisms were developed to facilitate (re)integration to the labour market of migrants through the five Pilot Projects; and in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti and OECS, 6 Public-Private and Civil Society Partnerships were formed for maximizing the use of remittances as a development tool.
Public administrations in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador were offered technical support on capacity to manage migration data. Among the results of the programme is also the creation of a technical theoretical framework to build alliances to strengthen impact of remittances, synergies between Migrations Profiles and increased transparency on national migration data (Nicaragua, Ecuador, Jamaica), and fostering collaboration between public administrations from CELAC countries leading to good practices sharing on labour migration.