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Step forward against illegal migration


​2nd session of the EU-Egypt Dialogue on Migration

The 2nd EU-Egypt Dialogue on Migration brought together in Egypt high-ranking officials from international and EU organisations and representatives from the Egyptian government to join forces against the ever-evolving challenge of migrant smuggling. The participants agreed to strengthen their operational and strategic cooperation by taking a series of coordinated actions in origin, transit and destination countries. This year’s Dialogue builds on the conclusions of the 1st session, which was held in December 2017 in Cairo on the initiative of the European Commission and of Egypt.

Migration is trans-border by nature; common migration policies could therefore serve as a major opportunity for EU Member States and third States, especially African countries. In addition, migrant smuggling is a crime that may require complex investigations and judicial proceedings. Eurojust, the EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, plays a central role in tackling this challenge: it is the only entity that enables effective judicial cooperation between all countries concerned. Migrant smuggling networks are usually sophisticated and multi-level and often engage in other criminal activities. Eurojust facilitates complex transnational investigations by providing expert legal advice and 24-hour services to national authorities with its judicial cooperation tools. The new Eurojust Regulation, which will make Eurojust the EU Agency for Criminal Justice, fosters even further Eurojust’s successful cooperation with third States through its established network of Liaison Prosecutors and worldwide contact points.

Mr Filippo Spiezia, Vice-President of Eurojust, said: ‘Migrant smuggling is a crime that not only violates the integrity of European borders but also offends human dignity. The wish of thousands of people for a better future away from conflict zones is being financially exploited by migrant smuggling networks that have no respect for human life. Eurojust has the necessary tools to give a coordinated response to the phenomenon, by engaging the national judicial and law enforcement authorities and targeting the criminal networks in their entirety. More referrals of migrant smuggling cases to Eurojust mean more victims saved and more criminals brought to justice’.

The 2nd EU-Egypt Dialogue on Migration was chaired by Mr Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary General of the European Union External Action Service (EEAS), and Mr AFM Ramadan, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt. Among the attendees were representatives from EU delegations, DG HOME, DG NEAR, Eurojust, Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).

Photo © Gabriella Rizza