International Migrants Day: Joint Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, the High Representative and the European Commission made the following statement:

“Every year, about 2 million people settle in the European Union, and about 1 million emigrate from the EU to settle elsewhere. Migration has always been a part of our European identity – and it will always be.

Throughout centuries, it has influenced our societies, enriched our cultures, contributed to our economic development and shaped many of our lives. It can be a source of prosperity, innovation, and sustainable development – when it is well managed. This includes protecting people’s rights, establishing clear and fair rules on asylum and migration, minimising forced displacement, fostering integration, and addressing the needs of host communities.

On International Migrants Day, the European Union reiterates its strong commitment to protect the dignity and human rights of all migrants. Migrants bring value for our economies and societies, and we strive to ensure that migration takes place in a safe, legal and well-managed way.

As part of the European Union’s global response to the coronavirus pandemic, we have focused our attention to supporting vulnerable populations, such as migrants, forcibly displaced persons and their host communities, around the world, and we will continue to do so.

Migration management requires global cooperation and engagement, solidarity and responsibility-sharing. The European Union follows a comprehensive, balanced and cooperative approach, in partnership with countries of origin, transit and destination, regional and multilateral organisations, as well as civil society, migrants’ and diaspora organisations. We also seek to maximise the development benefits of migration, leverage the potential of remittances and closely engage with diaspora organisations.

Last September, we proposed a new Pact on Migration and Asylum for the European Union. Under the Pact, we aim for common governance of migration at Union level: solidarity and a fair sharing of responsibility, more effective procedures, a stronger engagement to develop pathways for legal migration and enhance integration and address irregular migration.

As part of the new Pact, we commit to deepen our cooperation with partner countries. Enhancing economic opportunities, strengthening the fight against human traffickers and smugglers that benefit from despair and put thousands of human lives in danger, and improving readmission and reintegration of migrants are all elements of comprehensive, tailor-made partnerships in which we are already engaging and are seeking to enhance.”