The European Commission plans new deals on migration with Tunisia and Egypt later this year while material and financial support is already being stepped up to the two North African countries, along with support for Libya, according to a a newly-revealed annex of a letter from European Commission.
The annex to the letter, from European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen to to the European Council prior, indicates that the Egyptian foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, “confirmed interest in a comprehensive partnership on migration, including anti-smuggling and promoting legal pathways,” at a meeting with European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, at the UN General Assembly.
This month the fourth EU-Egypt High Level Dialogue on Migration and the second Senior Officials Meeting on Security and Law Enforcement would be used to discuss the partnership, the annex notes – “including on the involvement of CEPOL, Europol and Frontex” – but it is unclear when exactly the Commission plans to sign the new agreements.
Furthermore, a document by the European Council released last October stated that the Commission
confirmed its intention to “organize an International Conference on fighting migrant smuggling in
late November 2023.”
The annex to von der Leyen’s letter notes with approval that five search and rescue vessels have been provided to the Libyan Coast Guard this year.
The annex to von der Leyen’s letter also details EU action in a host of other areas, including the “pilot projects” launched in Bulgaria and Romania to step up border surveillance and speed up asylum proceedings and returns, support for the Moroccan authorities, and cooperation with Western Balkans states, amongst other things.