Migration Focus: EU Mobility Partnerships

The Dutch Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels hosted a policy debate on 18 January on the topic of EU Mobility Partnerships. The debate was organized by Maastricht University and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The aim of the debate was to discuss the state of implementation of the EU’s Mobility Partnerships. These partnerships are a framework for cooperation between the EU and non-EU countries on migration issues. The debate brought together academics and policy-makers from the EU member states, the European Commission, and non-EU countries.

During two panel sessions and a plenary debate participants spoke of the successes and challenges experienced during implementation of the Mobility Partnerships. The major conclusions of the day were that: the EU needs to communicate the aim and content of the partnerships more effectively; there needs to be better coordination between the partners involved (the Commission, the member states and the non-EU countries); and there needs to be more balance within the partnerships between encouraging legal mobility and preventing illegal migration.

All participants agreed that Mobility Partnerships have the potential to add real value to the existing bilateral cooperation with these non-EU countries, and an upcoming evaluation (to be carried out by the Commission) should help to unlock this potential.

The policy debate was organized in the framework of the IS-Academy cooperation on Migration and Development. The IS-Academy partners are Maastricht University (coordinated by the Graduate School of Governance), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Institute of Public Administration, the European Centre for Development Policy Management, and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development. A summary of the main conclusions of the policy debate will be made available on the IS-Academy website, which can be accessed at http://mgsog.merit.unu.edu/ISacademie/

Natasja Reslow, Maastricht University

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