Under Belgian Chairmanship, high level officials convened to prepare the 5th Euro-African Ministerial Conference on migration, and to reflect on a new Action Plan within the Rabat Process.
The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development, also known as ‘Rabat Process’, took place at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, Belgium. Under Belgian Chairmanship, high level officials convened to prepare the 5th Euro-African Ministerial Conference on migration, and to reflect on a new Action Plan within the Rabat Process. The event was supported by the Belgian ministers competent for this issue. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo held the opening speech. State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken introduced the interactive debate on the second day of the conference. The closing speech was given in name of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders.
The participants discussed better management of migration flows between the two continents, with a focus on encouraging legal migration and mobility, the prevention of illegal migration (i.a. the struggle against human trafficking), better border management and the importance of return, reintegration and readmission. Euro-African countries also discussed on the underlying causes of illegal migration and how to jointly address forced displacements. The need for international protection and asylum was also mentioned. These priorities can also be found in the Rome Program (2014-2017) and the Joint Valletta Action Plan on a common management of migration flows.
The 10-year Rabat Process is an intergovernmental dialogue on migration since 2006 that gathers around 60 countries from Europe, and North, West and Central Africa and European countries as well as the European Union and the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States.