CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development, prepared an updated briefing paper regarding the ongoing negotiations concerning revisions to the Cotonou Agreement for the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly session held 27 March to 1 April in Tenerife.
Excerpts regarding Article 13 (Migration) from an updated CONCORD Cotonou Working Group Briefing Paper:
“Migration, still unresolved – The revision of Article 13 on Migration is a major stumbling block to the negotiations. The two sides failed to reach an agreement by the extraordinary ACP-EU Council on 19 March. EU and ACP states agreed in a joint declaration to continue dialogue on the migration article and report to the joint ACP/EU Council in June 2011.
The bulk of the disagreement lies on the clause on readmission. The EU side would like the clause on readmission in the Cotonou Agreement to become self-executive and binding for all ACP countries without needing complementary bilateral agreements. This will imply unmanageable obligations for many countries and hence an increased risk of migrants rights violations throughout the process of readmission.
In no way should EC and MS ODA [Official Development Assistance] be dependent on the signature of readmission agreements (being bilateral or multilateral). By making development aid conditional on cooperation on border control, the EU is turning development aid into a tool for implementing restrictive and security-driven immigration policies which are at odds with its commitment to make migration work for development.
Article 13 should rather be focusing on concrete opportunities for increased mobility and ensuring that ACP states are assisted in their national efforts to ‘make migration work for development’ (countering of the negative economic and social effects of brain drain and care drain, sustainable migration opportunities, facilitating remittances…). This would bring progress towards Policy Coherence for Development in the migration area. Opportunities of legal migration, including for low skilled workers, and respect of migrants’ rights are necessary conditions for exploiting the development potential of migration. Provisions on legal migration should be as strong and binding. Finally, EU and ACP states should ratify the UN Convention on Migrants Rights and ratify it themselves.”
Click here for full text of CONCORD Cotonou Working Group Briefing paper.