EU ready to provide further support to Egypt to curb irregular migration: Schinas to FM

Amr Kandil , Sunday 26 Mar 2023

The European Union is ready to provide further support to the Egyptian state’s efforts to curb irregular migration, Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life, said on Sunday.

Schinas to FM


Schinas made the remarks in a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Schinas stressed the importance that he attaches to organising the movement of trained workforce from Egypt to the EU in a way that contributes to reducing irregular migration.

He also expressed keenness to provide education and training to the Egyptian workforce to qualify them for the European job market.

For his part, Shoukry affirmed the need for moving the file of Egypt-EU cooperation in irregular migration from a technical level to a high-level political one.

He added that this would help serve the common interest of both sides according to the burden-bearing principle.

Shoukry noted that Egypt currently hosts nearly nine million refugees and migrants.

He stressed that such a large number requires the EU to support the state’s efforts to curb the flow of irregular migrants across the Egyptian borders.

The Egyptian FM also reviewed the holistic approach adopted by the state in dealing with the phenomenon not simply as a security threat but as an issue with developmental and social dimensions.  

Egypt has stepped up its efforts to stem the flow of irregular migration to Europe, allowing no boats carrying migrants to leave Egyptian coasts since 2016.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has stressed that Egypt would not serve as a transit point for irregular migrants seeking to reach Europe.

Egyptian-EU cooperation on migration stands at 111 million euros covering 34 projects, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt Christian Berger told Egyptian state's news agency MENA in January.

This came a few months after Egypt signed a deal with the EU in October on the first phase of an 80-million-euro border management programme to help reduce irregular migration and human trafficking along its border.

Shoukry’s meeting with Schinas also discussed enhancing economic cooperation between Egypt and the EU.

The FM affirmed the importance of the EU providing political support to the promising projects in Egypt, especially power linkage projects between Egypt and the northern Mediterranean states, enhancingpower linkage projects between Egypt and the north Mediterranean states, which improve energy security in Europe.

Shoukry and the EU official also discussed several international challenges of mutual concern, foremost of which is enhancing food security and combating terrorism, the statement added.

They affirmed keenness to continue close coordination between Egypt and the EU during their joint presidency of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), which begins next May.

“The EU and Egypt share a robust partnership, which we will continue to develop and support,” Schinas wrote on Twitter following the meeting.

Schinas has been on an official visit to Egypt since Saturday, during which he discussed with Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, the critical role of Egypt in promoting interfaith dialogue and coexistence.

With His Holiness, Pope Twadros II discusses Egypt's key role in promoting interfaith dialogue and coexistence.
Focus also on the valuable work of the Coptic Orthodox Church in supporting health and education.

— Margaritis Schinas (@MargSchinas) March 26, 2023


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