A meeting of the European Council in Brussels. IOM looks forward to cooperating with the Swedish EU Presidency during its six-month term | Photo: Archive ANSA / European Union.
A meeting of the European Council in Brussels. IOM looks forward to cooperating with the Swedish EU Presidency during its six-month term | Photo: Archive ANSA / European Union.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on January 11 issued a statement urging Sweden’s rotating presidency of the European Union to safeguard those who are forced to flee their home countries.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement published on January 11 that, "given the geopolitical, environmental and technological transformations shaping migration and mobility," it believes that the "Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) has the opportunity to strengthen partnerships that promote and leverage safe migration and resilience to global shocks, for the benefit of all."

The organization’s recommendations to the Swedish government, which holds the EU presidency until June, "focus on attracting talent and improving labor mobility channels to the EU; promoting partnerships and cooperation between stakeholders at all levels to strengthen migrant return and their sustainable reintegration; and supporting preparedness and adaptation in partner countries most vulnerable to climate change," according to the statement.

Sweden’s commitment on the issue

"Sweden has committed to a joint way forward to advance negotiations on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum during its presidency," said Ola Henrikson, IOM Regional Director for the European Economic Area, the European Union and NATO.

"We offer our full support and encourage the spirit of collaboration and collective action that is needed to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration", he was reported as saying by the statement.

Attracting qualified talent through regular channels to the EU can help member states address labor market gaps while providing opportunities to migrants and their families, the organization noted.

It recommended the Swedish presidency to focus on enhancing labor mobility channels while ensuring the protection of migrant workers and their long-term social and economic inclusion and integration. These efforts should involve all levels of government, civil society, and the private sector.

The importance of effective partnerships

Well-functioning partnerships and cooperation between governments, non-governmental, international and private actors are essential to strengthening return and sustainable reintegration, IOM said.

It encouraged the Swedish presidency to promote the adoption of an integrated, collaborative approach to strengthen return and foster reintegration.

Local authorities, local public services, and NGOs all have a role to play in optimizing prospects for rights-based return and sustainable reintegration of migrants in countries of origin, the statement noted.

Finally, given the increasing frequency and intensity of natural hazards with the adverse effects of climate change, closer cooperation with partner countries will be crucial to enacting effective adaptation measures, IOM said, urging the Swedish presidency to extend support to the most vulnerable countries to help them prepare and adapt.

Such support should entail better access to sustainable finance for countries most in need and involve affected groups in decision-making processes on climate action.

IOM said it looks forward to cooperating with the Swedish presidency during its six-month term and stands ready to offer its support and expertise on the issues included in its recommendations.

Read more: Sweden, no migration pact completed during our EU presidency


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