A delegation from the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs travelled to Bamako, Mali this week to meet local authorities and representatives of the CIGEM (Migration Information and Management Centre).
The centre, which was established in 2009 on the initiative of the European Union (EU), aims at contributing to the definition and implementation of a migratory policy adapted to national, regional and international dynamics. The purpose of the centre is to achieve this through special emphasis on the link between migration and development.
The parliamentary delegation, which consisted of head of delegation Agustín Díaz de Mera MEP and Tanja Fajon MEP, also met with the Malian Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Ibrahima N'Diaye and the Internal Security Minister General Sadio Gassana. They also held discussions with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dioncounda Traoré and representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation of Migration (IOM).
Mr Díaz De Mera García Consuegra said that he believed the experience had been very useful, and that CIGEM was a worthy pilot project.
“The strengths of the CIGEM are that it has engaged with civil society,” he said. “Civil society is fundamental to understanding migration, supporting and protecting legal migration and combating illegal or clandestine emigration.”
Mr Díaz De Mera García Consuegra also discussed the role of the Malian diaspora. “Malian emigrants are very qualified. They have the opportunity of passing their knowledge to their own country. The qualified diaspora holds strong importance to the development of Mali.”
The Africa-EU Migration, Mobility and Employment Partnership, which was launched during the 2nd Africa-EU Summit in December 2007, aims to provide holistic responses to the issues of Migration, Mobility and Employment in the interest of both partners, with the particular objectives to create more and better jobs for Africa and to better manage migration flows.
CIGEM – cooperation project in Mali
CIGEM is a joint Mali-EU pilot project addressing the impact of employment/training on migration and development in general. It is due to be replicated in other countries and regions. Mali was chosen because of its central position in West Africa (close to countries of transit, origin and destination) and Malian government's desire to help Malians abroad.
It aims to help the Malian government formulate a migration policy meeting the needs of migrants:
- raise awareness of migration
- provide information, advice and support to potential and returning migrants
- provide information on legal migration and the prevention of illegal migration
- realise the economic potential of Malians abroad.