Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Secretaries of State from the member countries of the 5+5 Dialogue gathered in Marrakech in early March to discuss the migration and development issue in the Western Mediterranean, with representatives from the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in attendance as observers.
Ministers agreed to focus the discussion on a positive agenda that links migration and development. In view of this, they stated their determination to work on the issue of migration through the adoption of a global, concerted and balanced approach based on equally shared responsibility and active solidarity, with the aim to open new horizons for regular migration without encouraging irregular flows.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs concluded the meeting with the adoption of a Declaration listing the actions to be undertaken in five broad lines: coordination of national migration policies; facilitation of legal migration and mobility; the strengthening of the links between migration and development; migrant integration policies; policies to fight irregular migration, smuggling of migrants and human trafficking.
The Declaration calls for the implementation of a “Roadmap towards the operationalisation of the conclusions” of the Ministerial Conference in order to translate the Ministers’ commitments into concrete projects and practical programmes.
The 5+5 Dialogue serves as a sub-regional forum for the ten Western Mediterranean countries that take part since its creation, five from the north of the Mediterranean (Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Portugal) and five from the southern shore (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia). It constituted one of the first prolific initiatives between Mediterranean countries and a prelude of the structures that were built with the Barcelona Process from 1995 onwards.