Launch of EU-Egypt Migration Hub
Cairo, 6 June 2022
Ambassador Christian Berger
It is a great honour to represent the European Union and at the launch event of this ambitious initiative of a EU-Egypt Migration Hub.
This is another achievement, another milestone of the positive and constructive EU-Egypt dialogue on migration. The EU remains committed to work together with Egypt as a key partner in dealing with a variety of migration, security and humanitarian challenges, affecting both Europe and Northern Africa.
The Migration Hub is an idea that comes from discussions we have been having with Professor Ibrahim Awad and several EU Member States.
It was triggered by the identification of analytical gaps in the field of migration especially when addressing the six pillars of the EU-Egypt Migration Dialogue, which are aligned to Egypt’s encompassing and balanced approach to migration. The Migration Hub can play an important role as a brain trust for the migration community in Egypt.
For the EU, the support to the Migration Hub comes as an open, inclusive, multidisciplinary knowledge partnership that draws on government, donors, experts, practitioners, civil society to create and synthesise knowledge for use by policy makers.
The Migration Hub is newly born; once grown it will generate a menu of policy choices, based on analytical evidence, evaluation of policies, data collection, and quality control.
I am looking forward to the general forum meetings bringing together members of the government, academia, policy makers, lawyers, and practitioners to discuss relevant issues on migration in addition to forum sectoral meetings.
In particular I would like to flag that the European Commission is currently working on Talent Partnerships in which Egypt features among the countries for regular migration skills. The migration hub could provide support with an academic perspective in this area. In doing so, I am confident that the Migration Hub can build also on the work done in the framework of the programme “Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa’.
More can be done on protection. I would like to refer to the latest publication on refugees entitlements carried out by the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies. I hope that the findings can be used by decision makers.
Certainly more can be done in terms of research and analysis. Synergies with the Cairo University in particular the Migration Department which has recently joined with the IOM is another area of opportunity.
The Migration Hub could also address the developments of the forthcoming Household Migration Survey in the Mediterranean countries, which we are looking forward to start in the forthcoming period in cooperation with CAPMAS.
Smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings are key aspects to be studied. Criminal networks exploit people, putting their lives in danger. We need to prioritise the prevention of smuggling and trafficking. Research can contribute with valuable analytical elements.
Let me address another key area, such as reintegration, where research could bring a benefit. Reintegration can be enhanced with sustainability and growth; reintegration is an opportunity for the returnee and for the country if well managed. Research can boost this reflection.
The Regional Dimension to Migration is another key building block. Egypt played an important role in 2015 in La Valletta; it provided an added value in the Global Compact of Migration and in the Global Compact on Refugees; and it has taken a proactive role in the Khartoum process. Research could bring additional interesting readings.
Last but not least, we are looking forward to the implementation of the stakeholder trainings, workshops and media trainings. I am confident that synergies with the European Union Asylum Agency (EAA) can bring added value to those activities. I would be honoured to attend the ceremony of the issuance of certificates to the first batch of students.
In launching this ambitious Migration Hub with my esteemed colleagues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American University in Cairo I would like to recall that the door is open for the Team Europe so to further support the growth of this newly born initiative.
I wish you a successful start of your activities and give the floor to the Deputy Director General of DG HOME who could not be present with us today but who has kindly recorded for us a video message.