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Thursday, 26 May 2011

A credible, fair and effective EU migration policy: the way forward

The Commission is proposing a package of measures aimed at a better management of migration flows from the Southern Mediterranean region, as well as amendments to the Visa Regulation to ensure that visa free travel does not lead to abuse. Solidarity with the Member States most exposed to migratory pressures and stronger cooperation with third countries remain absolutely crucial. "The situation in the Southern Mediterranean continues to call for EU action. The EU has taken a number of short term measures to assist North African countries in dealing with migratory pressures and to support the Member States on the frontline, ensuring a coherent EU response to those who need our help. What I propose today looks beyond the urgent needs. Our plan is to develop a more structured cooperation with the North African countries. It is in the interest of both the EU and the countries of North Africa to promote mobility and well-managed migration. Europe will be increasingly dependent on labour migration and the potential offered by North African countries should be seized in a mutually beneficial manner. We also need to make it easier for students, researchers and business people to visit other countries. To that end we need to open up more legal ways to Europe, by intensifying cooperation with our Southern neighbours, establishing clear rules and ensuring secure conditions that such movement meets the interests of all sides. We also need to make it easier for people to travel to the EU through further visa liberalisation. At the same time, we must make sure that our visa liberalisation agreements are not being abused. This is I why today I am proposing to introduce a safeguard clause for exceptional and very strict circumstances. I hope that this will help increase Member States' confidence and will to introduce more visa free regimes in the future", said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

Source: European Union

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