On 21 September 2017, MIEUX convened a one-day event with a selected group of participants to discuss the topic of partnerships and capacity development in migration management.
The event was chaired by Ms. Camilla Hagström, Deputy Head of Unit for Migration and Employment within the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) at the European Commission (EC), and MIEUX Programme Director, Mr. Ralph Genetzke.
Why was this event necessary?
Since the EU launched the “European Agenda on Migration” in 2015 and the “Migration Partnership Framework” in 2016, the term ‘partnerships’ has jumped to the top of the political agenda.
Given the impending Mid-term review of the European Migration Agenda, and the role that capacity development plays within international cooperation and development programmes, MIEUX decided to bring together seasoned practitioners to reflect on ongoing challenges, best practices and forward-looking solutions for migration management, development and partnerships between the EU and third countries.
As MIEUX Programme Director, Mr. Ralph Genetzke stated, “Our goal was to bring together a selection of participants from diverse fields but with a common interest, so that we might reflect upon what we, as providers of capacity development programmes, can deliver now and in the future, ensuring that we provide the best service for, and more importantly with, our partners”.
“In a world where an increasing range of actors at various levels are involved in mobility debates, programmes and initiatives, we can learn a great deal from each other by putting together our experiences”, he also added.
What was discussed?
Representatives from EU development agencies and European institutions, and delegates from EU partner countries and civil society converged to debate important questions such as:
- What can be considered a real partnership?
- What role does capacity development play within a partnership?
- What does the future hold for capacity development and for partnerships?
Participants were quick to highlight that building a partnership rests on the principle of sharing goals, approaches and responsibility.
Migration practitioners learnt about the experiences of their peers working in international cooperation and development and discussed how to incorporate these into their ongoing and future work.
Meanwhile, development practitioners reflected on the sensitive nature of migration work.
All parties stressed the need to inform public opinion in EU Member States and EU partner countries against misconceptions about what migration and partnerships entail and deliver.
Initiatives such as the Rabat Process, supported by ICMPD, the current MIEUX Action in Cabo Verde, or the EU Mobility Partnership with Moldova were named as important examples of migration partnerships among others.
What comes next?
Last Thursday’s “European Conversation” paves the way for a series of regional events throughout 2018 where MIEUX is present, namely Africa, Asia, the EU Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood countries, and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
During these events, MIEUX and its partners will discuss the past, present and future contribution of the programme in addressing key migration issues and its role in capacity development and partnership building.
Now nearing its 10th year of implementation, MIEUX has blossomed into a remarkable EU peer-to-peer expert facility with worldwide recognition, having established itself as something much broader than the technical assistance programme originally planned.
Praised as a catalyst for multi-stakeholder and diversified partnerships, a laboratory of good practices and a reference when it comes to collaboration between the EU and partner countries, MIEUX’s evolution resonates with the opportunities and challenges that the EU and partner countries share, and corresponds to the shifts in migration governance, discourses, policies and institutions around the world.