The Fourth Euro-African Ministerial Conference on migration and development, held on 27th November, was organized under the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), with the assistance of the Rabat Process Support Project financed by the European Commission (EC) and managed by the FIIAPP and ICMPD.
This meeting chaired by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Relations and Ministry of Interior, and co-chaired by Senegal in the role of Honorary Chair,brought together government ministers and senior officials representing the 58 European and African countries taking part in the Rabat Process. The purpose of the event was to define the new strategic framework for the Euro-African dialogue on migration and development.
Along these lines, the representatives of the participating countries adopted a new programme of cooperation with the Rabat Process, the Rome Programme, highlighting the policy priorities and objectives for the 2015-2017 period, as well as the implementation methods for achieving them.
The Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Ibáñez Rubio, stated that “this Fourth Ministerial Conference in Rome demonstrates the consolidation of the Rabat Process as the most effective instrument for dialogue and cooperation we Europeans and Africans have in the area of migration”. He also emphasised “Spain’s commitment to stay on forefront of the Rabat Process” and the role of the FIIAPP as “very important for proper implementation of the Process”.
The approved document emphasises the commitment to providing continuity to the objectives of the Dakar Strategy (2012-2014), while also contributing changes and enhancements with an eye to the next phase, which is beginning now.
In addition, it highlighted the need to continue maintaining a balanced dialogue on the three existing pillars of the Process (organizing legal migration, fighting irregular migration, strengthening the synergies between migration and development), while complementing them with a fourth pillar on international protection, as established in the European Union’s “Global Approach to Migration and Mobility”.
Likewise, the countries agreed to give priority to various issues, including the fight against human trafficking and the management of borders, the participation of the diaspora, and strengthening the links between migration and development.
At the opening event, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined the importance of this conference and of the Rabat Process for developing global cooperation strategies in the area of migration.
The FIIAPP, represented by its Secretary General, Jaime de Pazos Molins, participated in the Ministerial Conference in Rome as a public foundation that works on migration issues and as a member of the Rabat Process Support Project consortium.