Even in the post-pandemic era, global migration will not “disappear”. There are now an estimated 281 million migrants worldwide, around a third of which live either in the EU27 or in the MENA region. And, for lack of better alternatives, more than 100,000 irregular migrants continue to attempt risky journeys across the Mediterranean each year.
With only a few years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, it has become even more urgent to recognize the central role that migration plays as an inherent component of social change. In the short term, the safe resumption of human mobility will be essential to support the economic and social recovery. In the longer run, the interplay between sustainable development (as framed in SDGs 4, 8, 10, 17) and safe, orderly, and regular migration will determine the extent to which the world will be able to ‘build back better’.
The availability and design of regular migration pathways are likely to affect the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the transition towards greener, sustainable, and digital economies. Moreover, demographic developments, evolving labour market needs, and labour shortages such as those faced during the pandemic have shed light on the crucial role that migrant workers play in global and interdependent economies.
In the face of all this, there is a need to strengthen collaborative migration governance in the Mediterranean. As evidenced by the proposals included in the EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum, countries from the northern shore continue to focus on attracting talent. In contrast, countries from the southern shore have asked to widen regular migration channels at all skill levels, as well as for dialogue opportunities that address migration in a more comprehensive fashion.
In this context, the Rome MED 2021 Migration Forum will focus on recalibrating dialogue on migration between the two shores of the Mediterranean. By reorienting the focus of policy dialogue on longer term approaches to migration and sustainable development, the forum seeks to re-energize partnerships and foster a positive agenda which is conducive to strengthened collaborative migration governance and mutually beneficial mobility schemes.
11.30 OPENING REMARKS
Representatives of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IOM and ISPI
11.40 SESSION 1: MIGRATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Marta Foresti, Executive Director, ODI Europe, London, UK
Marina Manke, Head, Labour Mobility and Human Development Division, Department of Migration Management
Discussion among participants
12.40 SESSION 2: REGULAR MIGRATION PATHWAYS
Mattia Di Salvo, Researcher, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Belgium
Sabelo Mbokazi, Head of Labour, Employment and Migration Division, African Union Commission
Geertrui Lanneau, Senior Regional Labour Mobility and Human Development Specialist, IOM
Discussion among participants
Chair: Matteo Villa, Senior Research Fellow, ISPI