Legal Migration

“[…] this partnership will also address the migratory phenomenon from all points of view deemed relevant by the partner countries, such as: · making better use of the potential of legal migration and its beneficial effects on the development of countries of origin and host countries, · enhancing the capacity of countries of origin and transit and destination to manage migratory flows in their entirety, · developing awareness campaigns, · facilitating the movement of workers and people, · implementing an active policy of integration for legal migrants and combating exclusion, xenophobia and racism […]”

RABAT DECLARATION, Rabat, 11 July 2006

Legal migration is one of the three axes on which the Euro-African political dialogue on migratory issues is based due to its positive potential for the countries of origin, of destination and for the migrants themselves, allowing a better functioning of labour markets and contributing, through remittances and the acquisition of professional skills by migrants, to the development of countries of origin. Legal migration is seen from the standpoint of labour and student migration, particularly through new forms of mobility such as circular migration.

In this sense and in the framework of the Rabat Conference Action Plan  the commitments acquired by countries concerning legal migration are mainly based on the setting up of cooperation programs for the management of legal migrationand on the adoption of some measures facilitating the circulation of workers and people.

The Action Plan aims to reinforce administrative services responsible for migration to enable them to provide information to potential migrants on available channels for legal migration. Likewise, the document stress the need to ensure that migrants have job opportunities before they leave their countries as well as the need of education and training, in both origin and host countries, in order to facilitate migrants’ socio-professional insertion into the destination country.

The promotion of means to facilitate circular and temporary migration appears also as one of the objectives of the Rabat Action Plan. In this sense, it highlights the need to take into account the concordance between supply and demand within the labour market and legal migration procedures for skilled and unskilled workers in order to achieve the effective management of “professional mobility”. 

The Paris Declaration, signed at the Second Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development, states that legal migration should be implemented whilst countering or without creating a "brain drain" or "brain waste" effect.  Legal migration should therefore be promoted through the following measures on the basis of the unique needs and capacities of each national economy:

  • Facilitating the emergence of legal migration opportunities through the assessment of the needs of countries of destination and countries of origin in order to define migration policies; adapting the existing legal frameworks to facilitate legal migration opportunities; and supporting intra-African legal migration opportunities, in particular in the framework of the African international organisations [1].
  • Strengthening institutional cooperation and information on legal migration: redirecting institutional cooperation between countries of destination and origin so as to facilitate legal migration opportunities; Increase information about legal migration opportunities; supporting, on regional and national levels, in both Africa and Europe, the creation, strengthening and networking of migration observatories, preferably on the basis of existing infrastructures [2].

[1] Three-Year Cooperation Programme. Declaration of the Second Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development. Point 1

[2] Three-Year Cooperation Programme. Declaration of the Second Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development. Point 2