"Against the backdrop of a growing number of migrants trying to reach the EU from the northern coast of Africa, cooperation with third countries must be based on a holistic approach that allows for sustainable and more decentralised management of migration movements while ensuring that human rights are properly respected", the rapporteur explained to CoR members.
His draft opinion answers a European Commission’s communication which includes an innovative approach that first of all anticipates cooperation with third-countries, taking into account both the EU's interests and the interests of the partner countries, in order to better ensure the management of migration.
Peter Bossman stresses the need to swiftly implement the obligations set out in the European Agenda on Migration: reducing the incentives for irregular migration, improving border management and the security of EU's external borders, implementing a strong common asylum policy, and introducing a new policy on legal migration.
He also calls for a more decentralised management of migration which includes all levels of governance. Underlining the added value of local and regional authorities in implementing comprehensive migration partnerships ("compacts"), he points to the valuable work of the CoR's existing cooperation platforms, such as the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) and the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) in the process.
Likewise, the draft opinion stresses the need to tackle the root causes of irregular migration, including economic and social causes, as set out in the European Commission's proposal for an ambitious external investment plan, and which would support partner countries in managing the consequences of irregular migration in Africa and in the EU neighbourhood countries, also through a better involvement of cities and regions.
Last but not least, he calls on the European Commission to better focus on protecting unaccompanied minors in the migration process, as dealing with them is often the responsibility of the regions.
The rapporteur will closely follow-up his key requests with the European Parliament’s co-rapporteur on the dossier, Elena Valenciano (S&D/Spain).