The introductory block of the survey tackled the most important migration policy areas from the perspective of the South Partner Countries (SPCs). Additionally, and to invite considerations on the cross-regional dimension of migration flows, it asked respondents to indicate which of the same areas should be prioritised in the relations with neighbouring countries (other than the EU or EU Member States). The options proposed to respondents are taken from the terminology and areas of action envisaged in the EU Pact’.
|• There is a consensus amongst respondents of the survey that building economic opportunities and addressing root causes of irregular migration is the most important policy area, closely followed by countering smuggling and trafficking of human beings.|
• In relation to priority areas of cooperation with (non-EU) neighbours, respondents rank counter-smuggling activities first. Building economic opportunities and addressing root causes of irregular migration comes second.
• Maghreb respondents consider that building economic opportunities and addressing root causes of irregular migration is both the most important policy area and a cooperation priority.
• Mashrek respondents consider that addressing the needs of migrants and forcibly displaced persons in vulnerable situations is as important as addressing root causes of migration, while the cooperation priority is countering smuggling and trafficking of human beings.
The first two questions of the survey were designed to assess, respectively, i) migration priorities in the South Partner Countries and ii) cooperation priorities between them and their neighbours other than the EU or EU member states). The overall results show that “Building economic opportunities and addressing root causes of irregular migration” is considered to be, in aggregate, the most significant area of migration policy for the concerned countries (Graph 1). Besides, the survey indicates that actions related to “Countering smuggling and trafficking of human beings” and “Building economic opportunities” should drive cooperation with third countries (other than EU or EU member states) (Graph 2).
Results by geographical origin point to some nuances on the perceived importance of policy areas. Maghreb respondents followed the aggregate result pattern for this question while Mashrek respondents considered “Addressing the needs of migrants in vulnerable situations and of forcibly displaced persons, including asylum seekers, refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)” as the first option with the same % of answers as “Building economic opportunities and addressing root causes of irregular migration” (see Graph 1 bis).
In terms of cooperation areas with their respective (non-EU) neighbours, answers from the Maghreb and the Mashrek differ sensibly. Mashrek participants considered “Countering smuggling and trafficking of human beings” as the first area to prioritise, while for Maghreb participants it came in second place right after “Building economic opportunities and addressing root causes of irregular migration” (see Graph 2 bis). Interestingly, the entry on “improving return and reintegration mechanisms” was ranked last as a priority cooperation area for Maghreb participants. Respondents from the Mashrek viewed the option “Fostering regular migration and mobility” the least important area to develop with neighbours.
Open comments highlighted some complexities but also mentioned potential mechanisms to enhance cooperation:
For many complicated political and other reasons, the cooperation with our relevant neighbours is considered irrelevant and unfruitful.Lebanese respondent
The Arab countries should build the common market and the Maghreb countries should organise an easier flow of migration with a national identity card, the African countries should build more transportation infrastructure.Tunisian respondent
Additional partners need to be included in cooperation on immigration management.Moroccan respondent
A breakdown of answers by kind of institutions show some group specificities in terms of importance granted to priority areas, while in terms of cooperation, perception follow the overall survey trend with some slight differences.
Table 1 shows how answers differ according to the respondents’ group considered. In stark contrast to the overall trend discussed above, civil society respondents perceive issues related to regular migration as the most important area of migration policy in their countries. Experts and policy-makers are more aligned on the overall sentiment that economic opportunities or countering smuggling activities deserve the most attention.
Protecting Those in Need and Supporting Host Countries
This section of the survey aimed to define which challenges countries encounter while dealing with migrants in vulnerable situations and forcibly displaced persons. It also shed light on the respondents’ perception of the EU’s action in supporting the host country’s management of irregular migration.
|• A clear majority of respondents consider that addressing vulnerable migrants’ basic needs (i.e., shelter, food, and health) is the main migration challenge encountered in their country.|
• Improving access to health services and education were among respondents’ top suggestions concerning the implementation of strategies to deal with migrants in vulnerable situations and forcibly displaced persons.
• Overall, respondents evaluated the EU’s contribution in helping countries deal with migrants in vulnerable situations or forced displaced persons as insufficient.
• The EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa and EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (Madad Fund) instruments to support management of irregular migration and forced displaced people are perceived as ineffective. In contrast, the European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection’s effectiveness was positively evaluated.
Question 3 turned to the main challenges a country may encounter while dealing with migrants in vulnerable situations and forcibly displaced persons. Out of nine options, respondents considered [addressing the basic needs of migrants in vulnerable situations (i.e., shelter, food, and health)] as the primary challenge, followed by “addressing the broader socio-economic impact of the presence of forcibly displaced people in the country.” The remaining options had a lower percentage of answers (Graph 4).
A breakdown of answers by region indicates diverging views. Maghreb respondents prioritised the challenge of ”addressing the broader socio-economic impact of migrants in vulnerable situations” to a much larger extent (45%) than Mashrek respondents (28%) (see Graph 5). In a similar way, 25% of Mashrek respondents had no particular view on the issue, while only 3% of Maghreb ones chose this option. Conversely, the remaining options presented only slight differences in percentage terms between the two sub-samples.
Question 4 invited respondents to identify the main measures in place in their country to deal with migrants in vulnerable situations and forcibly displaced persons. Consistently with the results of Question 3, more than one-third of all respondents (36%), including most respondents representing civil society, prioritized “Addressing basic needs (i.e., shelter, food, health)” as the primary measure. Regarding other categories, 29% of respondents believed that limited resources hinder efficient measures and another 19% said that their countries lack a clear strategy to address this challenge.
In their comments to the open-ended questions, some respondents highlighted persisting difficulties in dealing with this challenge:
Security protection should be provided to migrants to prevent kidnapping, abduction, blackmail or rape. But currently the country is unable to provide this due to severe political divisions and alsoLibyan respondent
old processes and measures, there are no adequate facilities to provide work opportunities and economic integration of migrants.
Despite the UNHCR intervention in Tunisia, the treatment of irregular migrants, especially sub-Saharan, is below the minimum standards of international laws and conventions. The government does not seem to enhance its intervention to improve its treatment towards irregular migrants.Tunisian respondent
In the Moroccan context, the observance of international convention is of immediate concern to ensure the protection of people on the move. At national level, the gap between migration policy outputs and policy outcomes can be attributed to the issue of non-compliance. Morocco’s current geostrategic interests in the Euro-Mediterranean are bound to both its traditional and West African allies. As such, genuine cooperation between the two blocs is key to not only establish firm diplomatic ties but also to ensure the protection of vulnerable people on the move.Moroccan respondent
Due to the deteriorated situation in our country and the total collapse on all levels, the tensions between the displaced and the hosting community are increasing daily, and the measures taken by the relevant authorities become insufficient.Lebanese respondent
Lack of socioeconomic empowerment is an issue. Both asylum seekers and refugees have no rights to work according to national law. That means they are working in the informal sector with no security nor fair salary and are facing exploitation and abuse, particularly women.Egyptian respondent
Many respondents made suggestions regarding what kind of measures could be adopted to improve living conditions among migrants in vulnerable situations and forcibly displaced persons, underlining the importance of education and access to health:
Essential services must be made more accessible (migrant children’ education, guaranteed access to social housing, vocational training.Moroccan respondent
Firstly, cooperation mechanisms with UN agencies and international NGOs need to be established, in particular in the case of (displaced from) the western Sahara. Second, crossborder cooperationAlgerian respondent
with Sahel countries need to be strengthened. Third, particular measures must be adopted to protect the most vulnerable migrants.
Ensuring this population has equal access to the public health infrastructure, in the same terms as nationals, and promote children’ inclusion in the education system.Moroccan respondent
Question 5 aimed to assess to what extent the European Union (EU) helped the Mediterranean countries deal with migrants in vulnerable situations and forcibly displaced persons. Almost 40% of the respondents believe that the EU’s contribution in helping countries face this challenge was neither low nor high. Respondents evaluating EU efforts as low or very low constitute more than one-third of the whole sample, while only 23% evaluate EU interventions positively.
Considering the regional breakdown of answers, Graph 7 shows that, overall, the majority of Maghreb respondents negatively assessed EU help in dealing with this challenge, with unfavorable and very unfavorable opinions amounting to 47% of opinions expressed on this particular issue. Perceptions in the Mashrek differ significantly. 45% of this sub-sample indicated very favourable opinions of the EU contribution in helping their countries address migrants’ vulnerability.
Open comments gave further insights about perceptions on the EU’s support to deal with migrants in vulnerable situation:
EU assistance must be targeted towards covering this population’s essential needs, in particular health, education and jobs.Moroccan respondent
The EU has been providing financial support that was very important, but more could be done at the level of supervising how the government is spending the resources.Lebanese respondent
Funding may not solve this problem, but a follow-up on the implementation of integration mechanisms is of cardinal significance to ensure the compliance of Morocco with international law. Another way to ensure compliance is to foster the freedom of expression of dissent voices addressing violations of migrants’ rights in the country.Moroccan respondent
Building on Question 5, Question 6 explored to what extent the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF for Africa) in neighbourhood partner countries, the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (MADAD Fund), and the European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection have been effective in supporting countries in managing irregular migration and forced displacement and in assisting those in need.
The majority of respondents considered the three instruments’ effectiveness as “Neither low nor high.” Nevertheless, the European Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection is better perceived than the other two instruments, as 31% of respondents evaluated it as highly effective (27% “High” and 4% “Very high”).
Significantly, one third of respondents didn’t have enough information to assess these instruments, see Graph 8.
Question 7 was an open-ended question on what is expected from the EU to help deal with forced displacement and better assist those in need. The most frequent answers recognized the importance of acting on root causes in origin countries, whether political or economic. In second place respondents highlighted “Capacity building programmes” (see Graph 9).
In the open comments, some respondents, mostly representing civil society, highlighted the necessity of the European Union to tackle push factors of migration:
My country is at the receiving end of internal and regional problems. The best thing for the EU to do is firstly, tackle root causes of the problems driving people away from their countries by helpingJordanian respondent
establish peace and security: in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere. The EU should be more proactive in the quest for peace, particularly with Israel. Secondly, it should help these countries establish proper rule of law mechanisms and democracy, along with good governance and oversight mechanisms. And thirdly, it should help these countries achieve economic prosperity and ensure a better future for generations to come.
The EU has to concentrate its aid on the roots of irregular migration and establish at least a 10-year program to tackle all issues. Short-term projects or programmes with a narrower focus risk only addressing the symptoms and not the causes. The major cause is mismanagement of development aid and inefficient allocation of resources.Tunisian respondent
It must insist on reforms in partner countries: promotion of democratic reforms, religious freedom, freedom of movement, of opinion, gender equality, recognition of minorities’ rights and of sexual minorities, etc. Any other measure doesn’t achieve much.Moroccan respondent
Comments also called on the EU to help countries deal with this challenge through financial and logistical support.
I hope that the European Union can provide financial assistance as well as advice to help bear the humanitarian burden associated with irregular migration.Egyptian respondent
Increasing financial resources and enhancing migration management capacities.Moroccan respondent
The European Union must work to support both civil society and NGOs to provide real opportunities in the areas of economic development and entrepreneurship to limit the emigration of countrymen abroad.Egyptian respondent
Increasing financial support towards responding to vulnerable populations’ needs (women, children and sick). Supporting re-integration.Tunisian respondent
Building Economic Opportunities and Addressing Irregular Migration
Questions in this block aimed to reflect on critical factors driving irregular migration and to understand respondents’ perceptions of the future of irregular flows. Also, it invited respondents to evaluate cooperation between the EU and their countries in tackling drivers of outwards irregular migration.
|• The lack of socio-economic perspectives is considered the main critical driver of irregular migration for migrants departing from the Southern Mediterranean. For irregular transit migrants however, conflict and instability were underlined as the primary driving factor.|
• Overall, respondents considered that irregular migration is likely to continue to increase, although this forecast varies depending on the driving factors considered.
• Most respondents assessed the EU’s contribution towards tackling driving factors of outward irregular migration as insufficient, particularly when assisting third country migrants.
• In a regional breakdown of responses, the evaluation of the EU’s contribution diverges across the two sub-samples considered in this survey. Mashrek respondents expressed less negative opinions.
Question 8 of the survey invited respondents to assess the main drivers of outwards irregular migration. This was assessed for both migrants transiting through their country and for citizens from their own country in order to grasp the motivations of migrants and the implications for countries which are specific to each type of flow. For the latter, Graph 10 shows that more than two-thirds of respondents (67%) ranked “Lack of socio-economic perspectives” as the primary driving factor, followed by “Conflicts and instability” and “Joining family/residents living abroad.” Conversely,
respondents were less inclined to choose “Lack of socio-economic perspective” as the first determinant of irregular migration when considering migrants transiting through their country, prioritizing instead conflict and instability as the main pushing factor. It is worth noting that the impact of climate change was not considered an important driver in either case.
In relation to the main drivers identified in the previous question, Question 9a and Question 9b went on to ask respondents whether they think that irregular migration is likely to continue to increase. In the case of irregular migration from the same country as the respondents’ one, 81% of the total views expressed, considering all the driving factors, were affirmative. Additionally, at a more disaggregated level, Graph 11 shows that a significant majority of respondents who chose conflict or instability or lack of socio-economic perspectives agreed that these drivers were likely to continue to increase.
In this question, respondents were also asked to share their point of view on the possible reasons why irregular migration is likely to continue to increase. This question was open-ended, meaning that respondents formulated their answers without choosing among pre-established categories. Graph 12 was built from the analysis of all responses. It shows that over half of the open-ended answers (55%) suggest that irregular migration of citizens from their country is likely to continue because of the negative socio-economic perspectives. In comparison, 17% of answers hinted at
political instability and violent conflicts as the primary cause.
In their comments, some respondents provided further details on the reasons why irregular migration is likely to continue to increase. In many instances, they stressed the socioeconomic
dimension as a determinant factor:
Economic and social conditions are worsening, and young people are looking for opportunities to build a better future with better education and health care. Social disintegration and weakening social links after all these conflicts have encouraged people to leave their countries. Many people have lost hope of an improvement in the political, economic and security situations.Libyan respondent
Poverty has been rising through the past 5 years, and the labour market has been unable to create enough adequate jobs due to a weak institutional environment. In addition, the water conflict withEgyptian respondent
Ethiopia could threaten the livelihood of millions.
Hope that things might change is fading and stark inequalities in access to socio-economic opportunities.Algerian respondent
Comments also emphasized other driving factors:
To find freedom, human rights, and security.Palestinian respondent
Due to the lack of an international will to resolve the Syrian conflict.Syrian respondent
Insufficient development programs targeting the youth, limited capacities and mandate of civil society organisations, corrupted political and economic integration systems.Algerian respondent
Question 9b addressed the primary driver of irregular migration in the case of migrants transiting through the respondent’s country. Again, the graph shows a similar pattern to the one presented in Graph 11.
Furthermore, Question 9b invited respondents to share their thoughts on the possible reasons why irregular migration of migrants transiting through the respondent’s country is likely to continue to increase. Over half of their answers (59%) hinted that irregular migration is expected to continue because of political instability and the surge of violent conflicts. In comparison, 26% stressed the importance of negative socio-economic perspectives as the main driver.
In their comments, respondents provided some detailed insights on the main drivers of irregular migration they identified in Question 8:
Economic conditions have deteriorated internationally after the pandemic, and the worst impactedLibyan respondent
were the poorest countries who are also least safe. Thus, the number of people escaping for a better
future will increase.
As long as the socioeconomic situation does not improve, people will always look elsewhere for jobTunisian respondent
opportunities and better standards of life.
Conflict and absence of life perspectives.Algerian respondent
Many countries close to and neighbouring Egypt suffer from conflicts and prospects for stability areEgyptian respondent
still far away.
Again, taking into account the drivers of Question 8, the open-ended Question 10 aimed to grasps respondents’ suggestions on which type of state interventions can help reduce irregular migration. Respondents highlighted the need to improve conditions in countries of origin (45%). Job creation, access to housing, education and healthcare reform as well as infrastructure development are the recurring areas for improvement mentioned. Participants call for development strategies and increased investment on behalf of the government as well as international development aid. As second line of action, one third of the answers (30%) suggested that the EU should foster better governance, followed by conflict resolution and the creation of mobility opportunities.
Some of the open-ended answers elaborated on possible measures and mechanisms which could generate better development outcomes in the region:
It would be necessary to implement proactive policies involving significant European economic investment in the countries of the region, especially those that enjoy political and security stability. Such an approach will probably only bear fruit in the medium term, but it is the ideal strategy for a real development boom in the region, which will inevitably reduce, in the long term, the migratory flows to Europe.Algerian respondent
Direct support can be provided through civil society organisations through integrated programmes that include health, educational, humanitarian, medical and food care, under the supervision ofJordanian respondent
donors. Small productive industrial cities can be established so that they produce their daily needs and sell the surplus in local markets so that they are not high on their host countries.
Better management of the visa system and support for local economic development to create well-paid job opportunities.Moroccan respondent
Technical cooperation as in the 70s with Europeans actively participating in development projects and infrastructure building; similar projects could trigger a new development effort and gain backTunisian respondent
cooperation efficiency. The current soft technical cooperation has left the host county with the same level of development.
Finally, to conclude block 2, Question 11a and Question 11b asked respondents to assess the EU’s contribution in helping their country tackle the drivers they identified in Question 8. The majority of the opinions expressed unfavourable assessments on the issue, regardless of the sub-group considered.
In a regional breakdown of answers, Mashrek respondents gave a less unfavourable opinion concerning the EU’s contribution in helping their countries in both cases. On the contrary, Maghreb respondents expressed an unfavourable assessment of the EU help received in this specific domain of international cooperation.
The EU has intervened and, in many cases, proposed good projects, however I believe some of the work done was overlapping and many of the projects were looking at short term impact, notLebanese respondent
to mention bureaucratic challenges (both at the level of the EU organisations and their local partners) and diplomatic consideration (the constraints of working with a government and a
political establishment as corrupt as the Lebanese one). All these were factors contributed to diminishing the impact and potential that could have been reached.
The EU has been more involved in stabilizing the situation of migrants rather than solving the root causes. The attitude of the EU has been just giving money to keep the migrants from crossingLebanese respondent
over to the EU.
Strengthening Migration Governance and Management
This block aimed to grasp respondents’ perceptions of the cooperation between the EU and their countries in the field of migration governance and management up to this day. As part of this assessment, it notably collected their point of view on the most effective way to fight migrant smuggling as a common challenge for both shores of the Mediterranean and on the added value of cooperating with EU in the future with regards to immigrants’ integration.
|• Respondents showed very favorable opinions of their countries’ cooperation with the EU in the field of institution building and fighting migrant smuggling, especially amongst Mashrek respondents.|
• Overall, respondents considered that creating economic alternatives and creating legal and safe pathways are the best ways to fight migrants smuggling, although Maghreb countries respondents gave more importance to developing cooperation with non-governmental and community-level stakeholders beyond the law-enforcement realm than Mashrek respondents did.
• On the topic of migrants’ integration, most respondents thought that the EU should provide help to their respective countries through targeted investments.
Question 12 invited respondents to give an assessment of the cooperation between their respective countries and the EU in different fields related to migration governance and management. Out of the five policy areas outlined in the question, institution building, fighting migrant smuggling, and border management had more positive assessment than negative.
Integration of migrants in the respondent’s country was the area for which the largest share of unfavorable assessments was expressed, with unfavorable and very unfavorable opinions representing altogether 43% of opinions on this particular issue (see Graph 18).
It is worth noting the share of Mashrek respondents who expressed a very favorable opinion concerning cooperation in the field of institution building, which was nine times superior to that of Maghreb respondents. In a similar way, but to a lesser extent, the share of Mashrek respondents who expressed a very favorable opinion about cooperation in fighting migrant smuggling was more than five times superior to that of Maghreb respondents (see Graph 19).
The respondents were also asked to explain in what way they consider cooperation could be improved. In many instances they stressed the need to include civil society
stakeholders in the cooperation frameworks:
The current disputes between Morocco and Spain and between Morocco and Germany show the extreme fragility of the current cooperation and indicate the need to rebuild on new foundations marked by shared respect and complementarity of interests as well as the inclusion in the elaboration of development or migration management policies of all partners concerned, including civil society (academics/researchers, political parties, civil society and trade unions).Moroccan respondent
Question 13 asked respondents to choose the most effective way, in their opinion, to fight migrant smuggling. Among the total of views expressed, 29% of respondents chose “creating economic alternatives to smuggling” as their preferred option. [Developing legal and safe pathways to migration as an alternative to resorting to irregular migration] was in second place (representing 25% of overall answers to this question).
It is worth noting that Mashrek respondents display a clear order of preference, with 30% of them designating creating economic alternative to smuggling as their preferred option and 25% opting for developing legal and safe pathways to migration. In contrast, Maghreb respondents opted for both options to the same extent (with a share of 28% for each). With regards to developing cooperation with non-governmental and community-level stakeholders beyond the law-enforcement realm, although it is ranked as the third priority overall, respondents from Maghreb countries chose it by a significantly larger share (26%) than Mashrek respondents (8%).
In their comments, respondents explained why such options could prove effective in tackling migrant smuggling. In many instances, they stressed the community dimension of migrant smuggling and highlighted the essential need to provide pathways at community level, through dialogue and participation:
Smuggling is a community issue that rises in certain conditions of precarity. Accordingly, a community-based solution with civil society collaboration will create longer lasting results thanTunisian respondent
This would prevent migrants from turning to the services of traffickers, through the establishment of a legal and regulated procedure to rely on.Algerian respondent
A number of respondents also highlighted the multidimensional nature of the issue and stressed the complementarity of the proposed solutions:
The problem is very complex, multidimensional and multifactorial. It requires several solutions at both national and international levels.Algerian respondent
In my opinion, all the options you mentioned above are complementary to each other and are all needed.Jordanian respondent
Creating economic alternatives to trafficking is certainly the best solution. But the demand is enormous and, in the end, all means, except coercion, are to be advocated.Tunisian respondent
Finally, Question 14 concluded the block by inviting respondents to share their thoughts on the ways the EU could help their respective countries with regards to the integration of (third country) immigrants. Over a half of their answers (51%) suggested that the EU should make use of targeted investments (such as job creation, housing, education and local projects) while 24% of answers hinted at the EU establishing a political and legal framework for the specific issue of integration in these countries.
Through their written answers, respondents provided explanations as to how targeted investments could be effectively put in practice:
Through participative programmes, putting migrants at the heart of their design. It has to be multi-sectorial and should not be conceived in a unilateral and predominantly Eurocentric way.Tunisian respondent
Support for institutions, support for the entrenchment of democracy, support for advanced regionalisation, support for training and vocational training, support for civil society, rethinking the approach, establishing an efficient and effective monitoring system, cooperation with small and medium-sized enterprises and small and medium-sized industries, establishing a more open and win-win cooperation with African countries.Moroccan respondent
Fostering Cooperation on Returns and Reintegration
Block four focused on assessing current cooperation on return and reintegration as well as identifying main issues in this field and looking into further ways to improve this cooperation.
|• Perceptions on current cooperation on returns and readmission with the EU tend to differ widely. Consistently with previous observations, Maghreb respondents express significantly more negative views on the state of cooperation than their Mashrek counterparts.|
• The lack of policy standards to manage return and reintegration of migrants in the country of return is considered a key obstacle.
• EU support on return would be most beneficial if it focuses on post-return reintegration assistance to countries of return and if it also involves civil society and other community-level actors.
• Bilateral visa facilitation mechanisms are the first option when considering policies that could contribute to improve cooperation on return and reintegration. Post-arrival provisions have a significant acceptance as well.
Question 15 invited respondents to assess the current cooperation on return and readmission with EU countries. Results show a significant percentage of “don’t know” answers (22%). Apart from this, views reflect a predominantly negative opinion of the ongoing cooperation on returns (Graph 23). However, when looking at the answers by geographical origin, there is a clearly differentiated assessment: Maghreb respondents are skeptical on the relationship, reporting 40% of low or very low answers. Contrastingly, about 40% of answers from the Mashrek indicate a positive
assessement (graph 23).
In the open-ended question that followed (Q16), respondents were asked to identify the main issues plaguing cooperation on returns. The input collected is summarised in three categories (see Graph 24). A significant share of comments underline the need to develop more policy standards allowing for an effective return and reintegration in countries of the South Mediterranean.
Some of the open-ended answers referred to the lack of policy standards:
One of the most important issues is to have programmes to rehabilitate refugees to return to their countries, protect them and take care of them after their return through international chartersJordanian respondent
and an oversight that does not allow the authorities of their countries to re-displace them or exert various pressures on them.
Human Rights capacity development for legal professionals, including support to national training institutions.Libyan respondent
Forced readmission always creates sociopolitical problems, especially in a nascent democracy like Tunisia because public opinion does not want to see its authorities act like “police ofTunisian respondent
frontiers”. They see it as an encroachment on its sovereignty.
The willingness of some EU member states to dictate the conditions of return and reintegration to countries of transit (mainly in the Maghreb).Algerian respondent
Question 17 turned to those areas of the cooperation on return where EU support has been beneficial. The most mentioned area was “Providing post-return reintegration assistance to countries of return” with a 25% of responses followed by “involving civil society and community-level organisations in post-return and reintegration processes” which accounted for 19% of all answers. A breakdown by geographical origin and by kind of institution allows further insight on this result. In the case of Maghreb respondents, three options are equally important, the formerly mentioned
ones together with “investing on pre-return assistance”. For Mashrek respondents the second-preferred option is “promoting capacity-building amongst responsible authorities” (see Graph 25).
When looking at the answers by kind of institution, experts follow the survey average while civil society answers consider the EU’s support on involving civil society and the local government in post-return and integration processes the most beneficial. Finally, according to policy-makers, it is the european support on voluntary return procedures that is the most beneficial for SPCs.
Question 18 was focused on the assessment of different options that could contribute to improve cooperation on return and reintegration. Interestingly, all three provided options have an important turnout of positive or very positive answers. Out of three options, respondents indicated an overall preference for the bilateral visa facilitation mechanisms.
Comments on this question show a variety of arguments on how bilateral visa facilitation mechanisms could improve the cooperation on return and reintegration:
Facilitating legitimate alternatives is always the shortest way to eliminate illegitimate parallel alternatives.Egyptian respondent
The mechanisms currently adopted, both in their conditions and processes, for granting visas do not respect the essence and philosophy of true cooperation. They need to be thoroughly revisedMoroccan respondent
to be compatible with the terms of international human rights conventions.
Visa facilitation will help those who have already spotted some real job opportunities in receiving countries to benefit from these opportunities through legal means. Establishing some shortlistsSyrian respondent
of jobs where there is a shortage of labour in the EU is recommended.
The second option considered as a positive avenue to improve cooperation is the provision of post-arrival reintegration assistance to partner countries. In the open comment section,
respondents have pointed out how to optimise chances of successful reintegration:
Giving prospects for integration with concrete support can considerably facilitate the reintegration of the migrant in the country of origin, provided that adequate accompaniment is provided until the desired result is achieved.Algerian respondent
It can convince returnees that there is in fact a good reason for them to stay in their country. Training is also very important in this respect because many illegal migrants have abandoned school early and have not made any training, so they see migration as their only way out.Syrian respondent
Open answers commenting on the “Full implementation of existing bilateral agreements” shed interesting light on these agreements’ importance, improvement or limitations:
In order to improve cooperation in terms of return and reintegration, both civil society and those affected must be involved in the implementation of bilateral agreements.Moroccan respondent
This will contribute to the development of government policies – as it represents a good mechanism for follow-up and provides better protection for returnees- enhancing confidence in the intervention, protection, and support systems.Libyan respondent
As long as conditions in the country of origin are not improved, agreements have a limited effect on the determination and desperation of migrants.Algerian respondent
Finally, results sorted by geographical origin depict a similar pattern than previously described, with answers from the Mashrek being generally more positive than Maghreb ones. This divergence can be very significant: Promoting the “Full implementation of existing bilateral agreements on readmission and the negotiations of new ones” gathers twice as many positive answers from Mashrek respondents than from the Maghreb in percentage points (see Graph 28).
Developing Pathways for Legal Migration to Europe
This block of questions tackled respondents’ assessment of initiatives between Europe and Southern Mediterranean partner countries in the field of labour mobility cooperation and collected views on the policy improvement needed. In addition it questioned participants on the recently proposed Talent Partnerships and other similar potential cooperation initiatives.
|• Respondents acknowledged the fruitfulness of several initiatives proposed by the EU in the field of labour mobility cooperation.|
• International skills and diploma recognition, preventing brain drain and domestic labour market disruptions, as well as circular schemes of labour mobility are considered priority areas for improvement.
• Overall, respondents welcomed the development of Talent Partnerships, primarily in their potential to generate domestic market opportunities through business creation and development.
• Visa facilitation as well as professional and university training schemes were among respondents’ top suggestions with regards to developing further legal mobility pathways to the EU.
Question 20 invited respondents to choose which of the proposed domains of cooperation with the EU should be improved. Overall answers reveal that international skill/diploma recognition should be improved as a matter of priority to a similar extent as preventing brain drain and labour market disruptions, as well as promoting circular schemes of labour mobility (each of these three options represent approximately 18% of the views expressed).
Consistent with other areas of the survey, the answers to these questions show a certain divergence between Maghreb and Mashrek respondents. The answers of Mashrek countries respondents largely reflect the overall ranking of priorities whereas for Maghreb countries respondents, circular schemes of labour migration stands as the first domain. Additionally, sharing labour market information between origin and destination countries is considered as much of a priority as international skill/diploma recognition. Furthermore, preventing brain drain and labour market distortions appears as less of a priority than sharing labour market information between origin and destination countries according to Maghreb respondents’ answers.
In Question 19 respondents were asked to share their viewpoint on the initiative which, based on their experience and in their country, has been the most fruitful in the area of labour mobility cooperation with the EU and/or EU Member States. Many respondents recognised the work carried out by the EU and EU Member States and highlighted the following initiatives: “Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa” (THAMM), “Partnership for Progress and a Common Future” initiative and the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). The mobility partnerships signed by the EU with Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan and involving some EU Member States are also recognised by respondents, although further efforts are
needed according to the following answer:
All mobility agreements signed and involving Morocco, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, since the framework agreement signed on this subject between Morocco and the EU in 2013. However, the number of beneficiaries should be more important and their follow-up in Europe as well as after their return to Morocco should be both effective and reliable.Moroccan respondent
Question 21 asked respondents to pinpoint what could be the main benefits related to Talent Partnerships in their respective countries. Almost one third of expressed opinions opted for the generation of domestic market opportunities through business creation and development as the main possible benefit. Maghreb and Mashrek respondents both chose this as the top option, although Mashrek respondents did with a larger margin (see Graph 32).
Overall, respondents expressed favourable opinions related to these schemes, with only 6% of them denying the idea that Talent Partnerships could be a conducive framework for better cooperation in the field of legal mobility. In relation to these Talent Partnerships, Question 22 went on to ask respondents to explain, as a matter of priority, which complementary steps should be taken beyond Talent Partnerships to further develop legal pathways of mobility to the EU. Among the recurring answers, visa and mobility facilitation was put forward by respondents to the largest extent. Many respondents also insisted on the need to foster professional and university training and exchanges between southern Mediterranean and European professionals in order to ensure that the skills of their countries’ professionals match the needs of the European labour markets.