European Commission Today, 8 November, the European Commission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the area of migration and mobility. Commissioners Cecilia Malmström (Home Affairs) and Andris Piebalgs (Development) signed a Framework Agreement with IOM Director-General William L. Swing. The Framework provides for simpler and more efficient methods of cooperation by simplifying and streamlining the procedure for contractual negotiations between the EU and the IOM. It is applicable to any operation, programme or project administered by IOM and financed or co-financed by the European Union.
At the signing ceremony, Commissioner Malmström said: “IOM is a key partner of the European Union. The EU and IOM work together on a daily basis on projects which promote international cooperation in areas such as legal migration, irregular migration and development. This new agreement will facilitate day-to-day cooperation between our two organisations, will remove bureaucratic hurdles, and make our work together much more efficient.”
Commissioner Piebalgs added: “Migration also has an impact on developing countries. With more than 200 million migrants worldwide, the EU is committed to addressing issues that affect them and to helping countries which face migration-related challenges. Thanks to this new agreement, we will boost our cooperation with IOM and we will be more efficient in reaching those migrants who need our assistance.”
“We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone,” said IOM Director General Swing. “This Framework Agreement is the fruitful outcome of our ever expanding cooperation. We look forward to the new possibilities this agreement offers.”
The European Commission has developed a general standard agreement which it applies to its contractual relationships with international organisations (the “Standard Contribution Agreement with an International Organisation” or “SCA”). The Framework Agreement signed today aims to adapt the standard provisions of the SCA to the specific requirements of the IOM. This will further simplify the contractual negotiations of individual contribution agreements (“Contribution Agreements”) concluded between the Commission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for future specific programmes or projects.
IOM is one of the main implementing partners of the European Union in the field of migration policy, notably with regard to the Global Approach to Migration.
Together, the European Commission and the EU Member States are major contributors to the IOM budget. The European Commission has, for instance, funded a number of projects carried out by IOM under the Thematic Programme for Migration and Asylum and through geographical funding instruments. IOM is also an important partner of the €15 million flagship Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) which supports civil society organisations and local authorities in linking migration and development.
More recently, IOM has also been involved in a €3 million targeted initiative supporting dialogue on migration between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, IOM has been active in EU Mobility Partnership projects and in developing Migration Profiles.
Cooperation with IOM feeds into the wider goal of a balanced and comprehensive EU migration policy. It will help Europe make the most of the benefits brought by migration, such as enriched cultural societies and better economic development and performance in the long term, both in the EU and in the migrants’ countries of origin.
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