Senior officials and experts from European and African countries will convene in Porto, Portugal, for two important meetings: they will first discuss the follow-up, monitoring and implementation of the recent Valletta Summit on migration and assess how the well-established ‘Rabat Process’, a cooperation framework between the EU, North, West and Central Africa, can contribute to an effective follow-up. Then the partners from both regions will agree on measures to fight migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings.
“A coherent and comprehensive set of policies is essential. However this is not sufficient: What we also need is ‘delivery coherence’.” Lukas Gehrke, Director Southern Dimension at ICMPD, who attended the Valletta Summit back in November, underlined before this meeting.
Senior officials will convene on 2 December under the co-presidency of Portugal and Mali, who have recently become members of the Steering Committee of the Dialogue.
Moving from policy to practice, the main objective of the meeting in Porto is to agree on a calendar, methodology and specific actions for the implementation of the plan agreed by Heads of States in Valletta, while taking into account the ‘Rome Programme’ and declaration that defines the policy framework of the Rabat Process. Delegations will also debate a comprehensive monitoring plan to track progress: the Porto Monitoring Plan.
On 3-4 December, experts will engage in discussions on combatting trafficking and smuggling under the co-presidency of Portugal and Niger. Representatives from Africa and the EU are expected to identify concrete initiatives that could enhance regional cooperation on these issues as of next year. Immediate action could focus on setting up comprehensive criminal justice response to smuggling or developing better identification and referral mechanisms for victims of trafficking.
This meeting in Porto is part of the intergovernmental ‘Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development’, also called ‘the Rabat Process’. The Porto Senior Officials Meeting is essential to involving all states participating in the 4th phase of the Rabat Process, which is characterized by the practical implementation of the ‘Rome Programme’, agreed in 2014, through targeted actions.
Ever since joining the steering group of the Rabat Process, Portugal has been actively contributing to foster the implementation of the dialogue on the priority axes.
ICMPD facilitates this dialogue between Africa and Europe and supports the implementation of concrete projects. Portugal is a member state of ICMPD since 13 years and has chaired its Steering Group in 2009. More information: ICMPD