Frederica Mogherini, EU High Representative on Foreign and Security Policy, and Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship made the following remarks following their participation at the Ministerial conferences of the ‘Rabat’ and ‘Khartoum’ Processes in Rome.
High Representative Mogherini stated the following:
”I am very pleased with the results of the Ministerial conferences of the last two days: the ‘Rabat process’ and the ‘Khartoum process’. Thanks to the leadership of the Italian Presidency and the teamwork with Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, these two conferences have been a success; we need to act together and to find solutions for all aspects of migration.
Sometimes we are tempted to deal with this issue as a security matter, but our presence in Rome underlines the commitment of the European Union to have a broader approach. In this regard, within the European Commission, we have started to act in a coordinated way and to work from all different angles, in order to maximise the impact of our policies and projects. It is our responsibility to make sure that all the tools we have are coherent.
We need to tackle the emergencies, to deal with the dramatic conditions of people who put their lives at risk to try to find a better future, to work with countries of transition and to fight migrant smuggling. But we also need to tackle the root causes of irregular migration: poverty, conflicts, lack of resources. That’s why it is essential to develop fully all our European means. We need the impetus, support and political will from Member States and international partners, which we received these days in Rome.”
Commissioner Avramopoulos stated the following:
”During the two Ministerial conferences in Rome, and thanks to the hard work of the Italian presidency and the close cooperation and coordination with High Representative Frederica Mogherini, we achieved a number of tangible results that strengthen our capacity to deal with irregular migration from Africa.
The Rabat Process is a long standing initiative which has created a unique level of consensus and common vision for migration with our partners from North, West and Central Africa. Our support for the implementation of the Rabat Process has been far reaching. We have helped our partners in the region to strengthen their borders. In Mauritania, for example, we helped build the capacity of the border authorities, constructed border posts and provided necessary equipment. We have also assisted authorities in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt to strengthen their criminal justice systems in fighting smugglers of migrants.
The Rabat Process has now entered a new phase. Our ‘Rome Declaration’ underscores two priority areas: 1) strengthening the link between migration and development and, 2) prevention of and fight against irregular migration. The Rome Declaration has also added a new pillar for cooperation: international protection.
For the Khartoum Process, today we laid down the foundations for substantial political cooperation amongst the countries of origin, transit and destination along the EU-Horn of Africa migration route.
We will finance the first projects that will support migrants and refugees stranded along the migration routes from Eastern Africa. Moreover, EU funds have been allocated in order to help strengthen the cooperation with our African partners for the fight against smugglers and traffickers.
What is clear, therefore, is that our dialogue with our African partners is starting to pay off. Our strength has always been and will continue to be, the way in which we mutually reinforce and complement our cooperation at all levels.