Switzerland – IOM, the European Commission (EC) services and the European External Action Service (EEAS) formally strengthened their partnership on 13th July in an exchange of letters between IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and EU Ambassador Mariangela Zappia in Geneva.
“This exchange establishes a new era of strategic collaboration between IOM, the EC and the EEAS on migration, development, humanitarian and human rights issues for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders,” said Ambassador Swing, following the meeting at the European Union Delegation offices in Geneva.
EU Ambassador Mariangela Zappia said: “This is a good day for us. I am very satisfied to be able to mark today, together with you, yet another step towards a further deepening of our relations so as to foster dialogue and cooperation on key issues, which are being taken ahead by our both services.”
Building on a shared interest in bringing the benefits of well managed international migration to migrants and governments, the IOM-EU letters lay out a framework for a strategic partnership that will serve as a basis for the further exchanges, development and structuring of the relationship between IOM and the EU.
The EU letter to IOM was signed by Stefano Manservisi, Director General Home Affairs, Fokion Fotiadis, Director General DEVCO, Claus Sørensen, Director General ECHO in the European Commission, and Pierre Vimont, Executive Secretary General of the EEAS.
The main objectives of the partnership are to enhance dialogue and consolidate cooperation between IOM and the European Commission services (DG Home Affairs, DG DEVCO/EuropeAid and DG ECHO), the European External Action Service (EEAS) on each others’ policy, legislative and operational initiatives, research and data, lessons learned and best practices.
The key stated areas of mutual interest to be pursued between IOM and the EU include: capacity building for migration governance, immigration and integration policies, labour migrant rights and health, prevention and combating irregular migration and trafficking in human beings, return and resettlement, climate change and migration development including Migration Profiles, diaspora issues and temporary return, research, policy dialogue events and publications.
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