IOM Issues Recommendations to the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Geneva/Brussels – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) welcomes the Spanish Presidency at the helm of the Council of the European Union (EU) at a time when the EU is working towards adopting the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum.
“The Spanish Presidency is now in an exceptional position to press for the continuation of negotiations and steer the legislative work to adopt the Pact before spring 2024,” said António Vitorino, IOM Director General.
“The recommendations that IOM has put forward to the Spanish Presidency reflect the spirit of cooperation that is needed to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration,” he added.
Recent tragic events at sea have been a reminder that the world’s efforts should focus first of all on saving lives and addressing the reasons people are compelled to risk their lives in the first place.
IOM’s recommendations reiterate the call for a European response which entails proactive, State-led search and rescue operations, and EU-wide solidarity and responsibility-sharing. Everyone – regardless of their migration status – is deserving of a humane reception and should have their dignity and rights fully respected under international, regional and state law.
Cross-border trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants violate rights, put lives at risk, and capitalize on human misery and desperation. During its tenure, the Spanish Presidency has the opportunity to foster cooperation between different stakeholders to help dismantle trafficking in persons and smuggling networks within the EU as well as in countries along migration routes.
IOM urges the Spanish Presidency to advance safe and legal pathways for people in need by strengthening existing resettlement efforts and supporting the development of additional complementary pathways in line with the recommendations of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum.
As the demand for migrant workers in the EU is increasing, the responsibility of States to create legal systems and pathways that respect migrant workers' rights is now more critical than ever. IOM encourages the Spanish Presidency to foster cooperation between labour mobility stakeholders to protect and empower migrant workers and facilitate social inclusion and retention.
The Organization emphasizes the need to promote policies and programmes that facilitate safe and dignified returns and the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants. IOM urges the Spanish Presidency to work towards strengthening the reception and reintegration capacities of central and local authorities in partner countries and increase the support offered to countries of transit and origin.
IOM believes that migration can play a key role in tackling the adverse effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters by promoting sustainable and smart mobility. Given the stakes and the urgency, the Organization calls upon the Spanish Presidency to promote the mainstreaming of migration under the key policy areas of the European Green Deal.
The EU’s generous support to Ukraine paired with the reception and protection afforded to those fleeing the war has been a model of unified action and humanitarian response. As the full-scale war on Ukraine continues, sustaining the humanitarian assistance offered while also pushing to support the country’s recovery is essential. IOM encourages the Spanish Presidency to advocate to the EU and its Member States to continue to provide support and protection to all those affected by the conflict.
IOM looks forward to cooperating with the Spanish Presidency during its six-month term and stands ready to offer its support and expertise on the issues included in these recommendations.
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Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. With 175 member states and a presence in over 100 countries, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. The Organization works with its partners in the international community to assist in meeting the operational challenges of migration, advance understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development through migration and to uphold the well-being and human rights of all migrants.