On the eve of the presentation of the Progress Report on the Implementation of the European Agenda on Migration, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini addressed the Members of the European Parliament, highlighting “a little, big European achievement of the last few months”. She said that thanks to the agreement between the European Union, the African Union, and the United Nations, “in the first two months of this year we managed to rescue and free more than 16,000 people from the camps in Libya. In two months, we managed to achieve more than in the previous year and already in 2017 the results were ten times better than the previous year.”
In today’s Progress Report the Commission and the High Representative take stock of the progress made since the last Report in November 2017.
The European Union and its Member States have a very clear objective when it comes to addressing migration: saving and protecting the lives of migrants and refugees. An important strand is the fight against trafficking and smuggling. The EU’s naval Operation Sophia, launched in 2015, has so far helped to apprehend more than 137 suspected smugglers and traffickers and neutralised 537 vessels used by criminals.
Migration is a global challenge and no country can address it alone. Cooperation with our partners is therefore crucial.
This year’s high-level International Conference which was hosted by the European Union, the African Union and the G5 Sahel has confirmed the potential for a stronger and broader partnership to tackle migration. As a result of the conference, a total of EUR 414 million was pledged in support of the G5 Sahel Joint Force.
Progress has been achieved, but as High Representative Mogherini put it: “there is still work to be done”. The European Union – African Union – United Nations Taskforcewill continue with the evacuation of migrants and persons in need of international protection in the detention centres. Sustainable reintegration assistance to returning migrants, being it upon arrival or in the longer term is of fundamental importance. The EU–IOM Partnership for Migrant Protection and Reintegration which was launched in December 2016 provides economic, social and psychosocial support to returning migrants so that they can re-establish themselves in their countries of origin.
And, funding for the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa which supports initiatives aimed at migrant protection and reintegration, boosting economic development, increasing stability in the countries of origin will be vital: 147 programmes are approved for an amount of €2.5 billion but up to €1.2 billion are required for work to continue.