MIEUX Reflections: Inspired by Mauritius

Mr. Oleg Chirita, MIEUX Programme Manager

MIEUX Reflections is an ongoing series that provides a space where our Project Staff can share their insights on their recent missions.

On any given week, a member of the MIEUX team, together with a group of experts, can be deployed around the world to support EU partner countries in reviewing, transforming and improving their migration policies.

These missions provide opportunities to interact with the full range of local, regional and/or national actors that are involved in  MIEUX’s activities.

Once on the ground, the many months of preparation come alive, inspiring the Project Staff to go forward and apply Lessons Learnt into new activities.

In this first edition, Mr. Oleg Chirita, MIEUX Programme Manager, reflects on his recent mission to Port Louis, Mauritius, as part of the seven-step Action to support the national Government in formulating a new National Migration and Development Policy and Action Plan.

The mission consisted of a two-day workshop with 30 participants from national ministries, representatives from international organisations, the business sector and local NGOs. A complementary series of 15 bilateral meetings with State and non-State actors ensued over the following two days.

Q1. You have defined this mission as inspirational, could you share with us why?

It was because of the energy of the people I met with and the dynamic of the Migration Steering Committee.

To start with, the mission had a complex structure, involving a workshop with 30 participants and 15 bilateral meetings with various national authorities and non-governmental organisations.

Once we were there, all the interactions proved to be insightful and meaningful, giving us opportunities to exchange views with new actors who have a far-reaching vision for Mauritius in their specific area of activity.

For example, the meeting with the Ministry of Ocean Economy Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping offered an original and innovative perspective on the interrelationship between the country’s future development and migratory flows.

Q2. Cabo Verde was invited to share its experience in engaging the diaspora during the workshop. Why did MIEUX focus on Cabo Verde as an example for Mauritius to follow?

Both Cabo Verde and Mauritius share similar features: they are island countries, far from markets, impacted by migration, and exposed to certain vulnerabilities, but also opportunities, given their size and geography.

Yet when it comes to migration policies, Cabo Verde has already established its own framework and relevant institutions. This is a good practice to be promoted elsewhere, including in the Mauritian context.

Keeping in mind the similarities between both countries, the Cabo Verdean experience, chiefly related to diaspora engagement through policies, concrete programmes and dedicated institutions, (including a range of strategies designed to attract remittances, skills, talents, etc.) is certainly an inspirational and very positive model for others.   

Q3. Did you experience anything ‘on the ground’ that was completely unforeseen during the preparation of the overall Action or the mission itself?

Mauritius is a very dynamic country where things move ahead rapidly and frequently. I am so impressed by the fact that, since January 2017 when this Action kick-started, the Government has already reviewed several procedures and policies that impact, and are impacted by, migration in various sectors.

Therefore, the starting point for us prior to the mission, on topics related to existing education and employment policies, to name a few, had to be revisited.

In addition, the meetings with non-State actors broadened our understanding of several social transformations that had been unfamiliar to us before.

This newly acquired information will be factored into our ongoing process of policy development and ultimately find its way into the new National Migration and Development Policy and Action Plan.

This is why MIEUX’s holistic and multi-stakeholder approach is beneficial and our strong point: because we ensure that the needs of those who will be impacted by the new policies we help to create are taken into account in the final outcome.

Curious to find out how MIEUX supports governments around the world? Take a look at our activities

Find out more about the ongoing Action in support of the Government of Mauritius in drafting a National Migration and Development Policy and Action Plan