AU – EU Sixth Summit: Building the new post-pandemic partnership on migration and mobility

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The Sixth Summit of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) held with much fanfare from 17 to 18 February 2022 has concluded with the declaration of A Joint Vision for 2030. The two bodies renewed their partnership to build a common future, as close partners and neighbours with a particular focus on health emergencies and vaccines; economic recovery and investment; renewed and enhanced cooperation for peace and security; enhanced and reciprocal partnership for migration and mobility; and commitment to multilateralism.

Under the theme of enhanced and reciprocal partnership for migration and mobility, the Joint Vision for 2030 continues to focus on containing irregular migration; ending smuggling and trafficking in persons; border management, return, readmission and reintegration as well as dialogue.

The Summit could not have come at a more critical juncture for the future partnership between Africa and Europe. However, it missed an excellent opportunity to reboot the existing partnership on migration and mobility to provide a detailed plan on four key issues: remittances; return, readmission and sustainable reintegration; vaccine roll out, and legal pathways.