UN Migration Agency Presents Recommendations to Incoming EU Council Presidency, Austria

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Brussels – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has put forward three recommendations to the incoming Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union that are based on our view that better migration governance - national, regional and global – benefits the entire migration spectrum: migrants, their home countries and the countries of destination, and requires political courage, evidence-based vision, and a human-centred approach.

Yesterday (02/07) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, presented its migration recommendations to Austria as it took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on 1 July for a six-month tenure.

IOM is drawing attention to three key areas in its recommendations paper: Africa border and identity management, the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF), and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). 

“Austria will be leading the rotating EU Presidency through a critical period in the second half of 2018 when the GCM focus shifts to implementation and the EU agrees its next multi-annual financial framework,” Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the European Union, Norway and Switzerland, said in Brussels.

“Our recommendations are rooted in IOM’s conviction that better migration governance at all levels – national, regional and global – benefits not only migrants, but also their home countries and the countries of destination, and must be governed with political courage, evidence-based vision, and a human-centred approach,” added Ambrosi.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is meant to address all aspects of migration and will have implications for both the internal and external policies of the EU.

The EU and its Member States should be encouraged to promote a comprehensive approach to migration that would put the rights, needs, capacities and contributions of migrants at its core, with a view to ensuring their safety, dignity and human rights in line with the GCM vision.

The intergovernmental negotiations on the GCM are scheduled to close in July 2018 and the adoption of the Compact is expected to take place at an intergovernmental conference in December 2018. In this interim period between these two milestones, IOM calls on the Austrian EU Presidency to set up a process to prepare for the implementation of the Compact.

Building on the EU’s migration policy commitments to working with partner countries, as well as on its prioritization of Africa as a key region for cooperation on issues around human mobility, IOM recommends that the Austrian Presidency work with African counterparts towards enhancing their border and identity management capacities to benefit African intraregional mobility and to contribute to safe and regular migration to the EU, the latter supported also by EU’s own visa policy reform.

Finally, integration, social cohesion, human rights, humanitarian aid and development cooperation all need sound investment, as successful migration policies are a long-term societal ambition. For these policies to be strategic, results-oriented and long-term, they need to be properly resourced. This year’s consultations for the next EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework offer a unique opportunity for the EU and its Member States to ensure sustainable and ambitious financial commitments to create a Europe that unites and upholds its international commitments.

IOM calls on the Presidency to allocate appropriate resources for a strategic, results-oriented and long-term migration policy.

"IOM stands ready to support the Presidency and EU member states through its global expertise and operational tools to advance our joint commitment to improving global migration governance and ensuring that each and every migrant is assisted, with their fundamental rights upheld," said Ambrosi.

IOM's twice-yearly recommendations to the rotating EU Presidencies are guided by its Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF) which is the first, and so far only global detailed articulation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

The six-month incumbent Presidents of the Council of the EU work together in groups of three in the interest of continuity and coherency. The current Presidential trio comprises Estonia (July/December 2017), Bulgaria (January/June 2018) and Austria (July/December 2018). The presidential representatives chair meetings at every level and propose the guidelines needed for the Council to take decisions.

IOM's recommendations can be downloaded here in PDF.

For more information please contact Melissa Julian at IOM Brussels, Tel: +32 287 7133, Email: