April 22. 2024. 7:15

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Dutch reinforce migration cooperation with Niger


An agreement to enhance their cooperation to combat irregular migration was announced by Migration Minister Eric van den Burg and Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Liesje Schreinemajer in a joint press release on Wednesday.

The agreement concerns human trafficking, border security, the protection of migrants, and the voluntary repatriation of migrants who are from Niger. These measures aim at supplementing the renewed EU efforts to address the migration crisis, “such as the Team Europe Initiatives on the Central and Western Mediterranean migration routes”, the press release stressed.

With this agreement, the Netherlands becomes the latest Member State to adopt new anti-migration initiatives in the past weeks, after Sweden, Austria, and Italy.

“Launching this migration partnership with Niger is an important step for both countries. In Niger, it can help combat the despicable human trafficking that goes on, and in the Netherlands, it can help us tackle irregular migration”, said van den Burg.

The new partnership builds upon existing bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of economic development, food security, water management, healthcare, governance, and access to justice. In the field of migration, the Netherlands is already “training Nigerien mobile border management teams to tackle the illegal and therefore often dangerous transport of migrants,” Schreinemajer wrote on Twitter.

The details of the new Dutch-Nigerien partnership on migration will be elaborated on a roadmap to be set up “later this year”, and the two countries have further envisaged future bilateral consultations to “ensure its implementation,” as stated in the joint press release.

Niger is a key partner for the EU in the Sahel region to tackle irregular migration, as the country is a hub for migratory flows that ultimately reach Europe.

(Max Griera | EURACTIV.com)