On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, the European Commission and the High Representative made the following statement:

”Every year, around 2 to 3 million people from all over the world come legally to the EU to work or study. At the same time, every year thousands seek to reach the EU in irregular and unsafe ways, using deadly routes. Since 2014, more than 50,000 migrants have lost their lives on migratory routes across the world.

Some move in search of new job opportunities. Others are forced to escape conflict, persecution or environmental degradation. This year, we highlight the need for safe, legal and well-managed migration.

Safe, secure and legal pathways allow the European Union to unlock the immense potential of human mobility. It is an investment in our economy and our society as a whole, supporting key areas such as the EU’s green and digital transition, and contributing to make Europe more competitive, cohesive and resilient.

Creating legal pathways for migration not only has economic benefits, it can help reduce irregular and unsafe migration as well as the human and economic costs associated with smuggling and trafficking. Legal migration plays a key role for Europe’s society and economy. In the race for global talent, migration is an important means to address the increasing skills shortages in the EU. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed migrants’ resilience and innovation: doctors, nurses, and scientists have been in the front line against this pandemic.

The Pact on Migration and Asylum recognises the key role of legal migration for our European society and economy, also as part of tailor-made and mutually beneficial partnerships with third countries. For instance, the EU is working to create new avenues for legal migration, for all levels of education and skill-sets, such as through the establishment of strong and mutually beneficial Talent Partnerships with partner countries, including Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt.

The European Union and its Member States are working with partner countries to ensure safer, orderly and well managed migration, to the benefit of all those involved. We must harness the potential of human mobility.”

Source: European Commission

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