7-8 JUNE 2017 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Migration and mobility

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly recognises the positive contribution of migration and mobility to inclusive growth and sustainable development. It is also recognised that migration and mobility is a global challenge that needs a global response. The European Union is fully committed to contribute to this task, including through its development policy and cooperation.

Poorly managed migration policies can impact negatively on countries of origin, transit and destination and on migrants themselves. Especially in cases of forced displacement and irregular migration, human rights abuses may be frequent with people having limited or no access to basic services. The risks of exploitation are high, in particular for vulnerable groups. At the same time, well managed migration can have important positive impacts on development.

Migration enables workers to move to where they are more productive and valued, contributing in turn to boost global output and income. Total migrant remittances to developing countries in 2015 were well over twice the total Official Development Assistance flows. Remittances have a great potential to help recipients in developing countries meet their needs. They can also contribute to develop human capital, support better health and education spending, financial inclusion, and local business investment.

However, in parallel to improving the global governance of migration, efforts must continue to be stepped up to address the underlying reasons, or the drivers, of migration. Inequality, limited socio-economic opportunities, climate change and perspectives for a growing population of young people, to name a few, need to be tackled. In doing so, we will further all of our development opportunities and reduce movement born out of desperation.

Seizing the opportunities offered by this complex global phenomenon, while at the same time addressing its challenges, requires a carefully designed, balanced and sustainable policy response. It also requires the involvement of all stakeholders in the process, including states, civil society, local authorities, and the private sector, as well as migrants and their families.

In the past few years, the EU and its Member States have stepped up efforts to address this challenge. In line with the European Agenda on Migration, the Declaration of the Valletta Summit on Migration was adopted in November 2015. In June 2016, the EU launched a new Partnership Framework on Migration with developing partner countries. Through this comprehensive framework, the EU has established a closer relationship with its partners on migration.

For this new approach to be successful we need to recognise the priorities and needs on both sides, and to support EU partner countries in a truly comprehensive manner, including responding to the challenges they face. EU development policy and cooperation has an important role to play in the implementation of the Partnership Framework, in full respect of core development policy objectives and principles.

Thanks to the rapid mobilisation of EU development funds, including for example through the EU Trust Fund for Africa, which has now reached a total allocation of more than EUR 2.5 billion, concrete actions have been launched to address the challenges in partner countries and along migratory routes, in close cooperation with them.

It is also what the EU wants to achieve through its proposal for a new European External Investment Plan, which thanks to innovative ways of using development funds, could inject an additional EUR 44 billion of investment to create jobs and opportunities where they are needed the most.

What we hope to achieve is that migration is not the only available option for a better future. And, if it does happen, it will be in a better prepared and a more regular manner. In this way, it should become a development enabler rather than a problem.

In this context, the EU and its Member States will also actively contribute to support the realisation of the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees, as called for by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of 19 September 2016.

Related sessions

Migration and mobility
debate D1
7 June
09:30 to 10:45
Migration and mobility
debate D1
7 June
18:00 to 19:15
Migration and mobility
debate D7
8 June
09:00 to 10:15
Migration and mobility
project S1
7 June
14:00 to 15:15
Migration and mobility
project S3
8 June
15:15 to 16:30
Migration and mobility
brainstorming B1
8 June
09:00 to 10:15
Migration and mobility
brainstorming B1
8 June
13:30 to 14:45
Migration and mobility
stand
Migration and mobility
creative youth activities Youth Lounge
7 June
15:00 to 15:30
Migration and mobility
creative youth activities Youth Lounge
8 June
14:30 to 15:00