BRUSSELS: Given the geopolitical, environmental and technological transformations shaping migration and mobility today, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) believes the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) has the opportunity to strengthen partnerships that promote and leverage safe migration and resilience to global shocks, for the benefit of all.
IOM’s recommendations to the Swedish government, which holds the EU Presidency until June, focus on attracting talent and improving labour mobility channels to the EU; promoting partnerships and cooperation between stakeholders at all levels to strengthen migrant return and their sustainable reintegration; and supporting preparedness and adaptation in partner countries most vulnerable to climate change.
“Sweden has committed to a joint way forward to advance negotiations on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum during its Presidency,” said Ola Henrikson, IOM Regional Director for the European Economic Area, the European Union and NATO. “We offer our full support and encourage the spirit of collaboration and collective action that is needed to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.”
Attracting qualified talent through regular channels to the EU can help Member States address labour market gaps while providing opportunities to migrants and their families. IOM recommends the Swedish Presidency focus on enhancing labour mobility channels while ensuring the protection of migrant workers and their long-term social and economic inclusion and integration. These efforts should involve all levels of government, civil society, and the private sector.
Well-functioning partnerships and cooperation between governments, non-governmental, international and private actors are essential to strengthening return and sustainable reintegration. IOM encourages the Swedish Presidency to promote adoption of an integrated, collaborative approach to return and reintegration. Local authorities, local public services, and NGOs all have a role to play in optimizing prospects for rights-based return and sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in countries of origin.
Finally, given the increasing frequency and intensity of natural hazards with the adverse effects of climate change, closer cooperation with partner countries will be crucial to enacting effective adaptation measures. IOM therefore recommends that the Swedish Presidency extends support to the most vulnerable countries to help them to prepare and adapt in the face of disasters. Such support should entail better access to sustainable finance for those countries most in need and involve affected groups in decision-making processes on climate action.
IOM looks forward to cooperating with the Swedish Presidency during its six-month term and stands ready to offer its support and expertise on the issues included in these recommendations.