EU steps up dialogue and deepens partnerships with the countries of origin and transit of migration
On 11 May, the EU Member States and a group of African countries invited by Portugal met via a video conference at the Ministerial Conference on Management of Migratory Flows. The Conference was organised at the initiative of the Portuguese Council Presidency, and Finland was represented by State Secretary Olli-Poika Parviainen. The Conference was also attended by the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the African Union, EU agencies and international organisations related to migration.
During the first half of its Presidency, Portugal has focused on deepening partnerships between the EU and selected countries of origin and transit of migration. Another priority has been to promote legal pathways. Both these issues were also on the agenda at the Conference.
“Today we had a great opportunity to engage in a broad dialogue with our partner countries. The discussion highlighted the need for tailored, genuinely mutually beneficial and equal partnerships with the countries of origin and transit of migration,” says State Secretary Olli-Poika Parviainen.
Resettlement of refugees protects the most vulnerable
The promotion and development of legal pathways is a key part of the EU’s migration and asylum reform. Resettlement of refugees in the Member States is an effective way of providing protection for the most vulnerable refugees and sharing responsibility globally.
“We should increase resettlement of refugees. The global need for this may be greater than ever. We also need to find complementary legal pathways for those who need international protection. Finland is actively participating in this debate in the EU,” says Parviainen.
Effective cooperation is needed to tackle human smuggling
The Conference also discussed the management of migration flows at the EU's external borders, challenges of return and readmission as well as common solutions for tackling human smuggling and trafficking. The European Commission will update its action plan against migrant smuggling this year.
“Tackling human smuggling calls for effective cooperation between the law enforcement and judicial authorities of the EU Member States and the countries of origin and transit. Such cooperation is essential if the smugglers are to be prosecuted and tried,” says Parviainen.