Today, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Mr. Olivér Várhelyi launched with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Egyptian Ministry of Defence, the first phase of a new EUR 80 million programme to enhance border management, search and rescue at land and sea.
The operational agreement between the EU, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and CIVIPOL, the technical cooperation operator of the French Ministry of Interior, was signed to implement the first phase of the programme amounting to EUR 23 million.
The programme will support the purchase of search and rescue equipment as well as deliver specialised training to enhance knowledge and skills on humanitarian border management with respect to national and international commitments.
Praising the strong partnership between the European Union and Egypt, Commissioner Várhelyi stated “I am honoured to launch the implementation of a new ambitious programme in a spirit of partnership and in support of orderly migration flows on both sides of the Mediterranean”.
Ambassador of France to the Republic of Egypt, Marc Baréty said « France is honored to contribute by its expertise to this strategic partnership between the EU and Egypt, aiming to save lives at sea and fight against human trafficking ».
“This new agreement would not have been possible without the crucial engagement of the Ministry of Defence in combating criminal networks of smugglers of migrants and traffickers in persons. We welcome this new partnership, as a continuation of four years of fruitful cooperation with the Liaison Agency with International Organizations (LAWIO) of the Ministry of Defence, which allowed promoting and defending the human rights of migrants”, said Laurent de Boeck, Chief of Mission of IOM Egypt.
The second phase will follow in 2023.
The programme is part of the European Commission’s plans to adopt the Multiannual Multi-Country Migration Programme for the Southern Neighbourhood for 2021-2027, which in line with the New Pact on Migration and Asylum and reflecting the Joint Communication on a Renewed Partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood, sets out the following priorities.
The first priority addresses the need to provide protection to forcibly displaced persons, including asylum seekers, refugees, internally displaced persons, and other persons in need, including migrants in vulnerable situations, as well as host communities, notably in North Africa.
The second priority aims at strengthening migration and asylum governance and management, while the third priority aims at fostering return, readmission and sustainable reintegration.
Supporting a comprehensive approach to legal migration and mobility is the fourth priority.