Thematic Programme "Cooperation with Third Countries in the areas of Migration and Asylum" 2011-2013 Multi-Annual Strategy Paper

Summary of the Report

Since 2007, the European Commission has implemented the “Cooperation with Third Countries in the areas of Migration and Asylum” programme. This programme, in conglomeration with “geographical financial instruments”, assists third countries in their efforts on migration and asylum matters to ensure better management of migratory flows and encourage cooperative initiatives. It covers areas, such as:

  • Migration and Development
  • Labor Migration
  • Irregular Immigration
  • Human Trafficking
  • Migrant’s Rights
  • Asylum
  • International Protection

International Migrants make up 3.1 percent of the world’s population. Migration flows continue to grow towards EU member states due to the extreme poverty and difficult living conditions in many developing countries, combined with increasing disparity in living standards between those countries and EU member states. A key factor fueling immigration is the increasing demand for labor in many EU member states due to their ageing populations. There is a need to improve the management of migratory flows, as crime continues to occur around uncontrolled migration. It has also been difficult for authorities to separate asylum seekers and economic migrants.

The Thematic Strategy for 2011-2013 addresses the recent changes in migration patterns, numbers of immigrants, and increased migratory pressure on industrialized countries as well as the EU’s Southern and Eastern borders. This is the second phase of implementation, after the first programme from 2007-2010.

While the programme considers migration issues around the world, priority is given to the Southern Mediterranean, African and Eastern European regions. The themes and initiatives that will receive priority for the 2011-2013 strategy are mobility partnerships, Regional Protection Programs (RPPs), readmission agreements, migration profiles, protection of migrant’s human rights, unaccompanied minors, the fight against trafficking in human beings, labor migration, support to circular migration and links between migration and development.

The Programme’s five major courses of action for 2011-2013 are:

  • Fostering the links between migration and development
  • Promoting well-managed labor migration
  • Preventing and curbing irregular immigration and facilitating the readmission of illegal immigrants
  • Protecting migrants, including those most vulnerable such as women and children against exploitation and exclusion
  • Promoting asylum and international protection

The funding for the thematic programme is 179 million euros. In the first stage of the programme (2007-2010), sixty six projects were approved for funding, for a total amount of 108 million euros. Grants will be awarded through the standard procedure of a Call for Proposals, but also through alternative contracting procedures, such as Direct Agreements.

Indicative breakdown of available resources for 2011-2013 (*)

2011-2013 (€) million)
Southern Mediterranean, Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East 68
Eastern Europe and Central Asia 28
Other regions 18

(*) The amounts mentioned above are indicative. The exact amounts for each of the targeted initiatives will be defined at the adequate annual programming stage.

For more information about the programme, the full report can be found at: