The Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) is a regional migration dialogue between more than 60 stakeholders, primarily African and European national administrations. It is a state-driven initiative, relying on the active participation of the National Focal Points, the strategic guidance by its Steering Committee and its Chair, as well as the support provided by the Secretariat of the Rabat Process.
The governance structure of the Rabat Process
These three entities are the building blocks that form the governance structure of the Rabat Process:
● the Network of Focal Points
● the Steering Committee and Chair
● the Secretariat
The network of contact points in each partner country and organisation - the so-called National Focal Points - forms the core of the dialogue network. The Steering Committee is the dialogue’s strategic governing body and defines the orientation of the Process together with its Chair. The dialogue’s Secretariat facilitates the organisation of meetings and supports the dialogue partners in a variety of ways.
National Focal Points guarantee continuity and commitment
Each partner country has chosen a designated National Focal Point within its administration as contact point for all matters related to the Rabat Process. These National Focal Points act as intermediaries between the dialogue and the partner countries and play a key role in the dialogue. Newly appointed National Focal Points receive detailed Terms of Reference to guide and help them get acquainted with their role.
In the dialogue as such, a National Focal Point:
● Participates at the different level of dialogue, where they represents their country/organisation and its strategic priorities;
● Shares good practices and experiences of their country/organisation;
● Can make requests for their country to benefit from targeted capacity-building actions.
At the national level, a National Focal Point
● Promotes the implementation of the dialogue’s objectives;
● Relays information on the Rabat Process, such as the outcome of the dialogue meetings;
● Identifies specialists within their administration to participate in meetings;
● Contributes to the implementation of targeted actions and capacity-building linked to the dialogue.
The Steering Committee guides the dialogue
The Steering Committee is the strategic governing body of the Rabat Process. It sets strategic priorities and makes decisions for the dialogue’s advancement. It comprises five African countries (Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Morocco and Senegal) and five European countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain), as well as the European Commission and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Steering Committee’s role is to stimulate cooperation between the participating States, to prepare the political orientation of the dialogue and to follow up on the implementation of ministerial declarations. These functions are carried out according to the Operating Modalities that have been established and the priorities defined at the dialogue meetings.
The Chair of the Steering Committee maintains the momentum
The Steering Committee is presided by its Chair. The chairmanship rotates periodically between the African and European members of the Steering Committee, which contributes to the dialogue’s balanced governance. The purpose and duty of the chairmanship is to contribute to the advancement of the dialogue, foster ownership and maintain the momentum created at dialogue meetings.
The Secretariat facilitates the dialogue and its operationalisation
The Secretariat of the Rabat Process is another key stakeholder that contributes to the implementation of the dialogue’s objectives. The Secretariat of the Rabat Process facilitates dialogue meetings and supports partner countries by carrying out capacity-building activities, providing expertise and sharing information. It is a demand-driven entity, accompanying the National Focal Points and the Steering Committee as a “neutral-broker” by giving technical input and suggesting ideas. The Secretariat also ensures the continuity and institutional memory of the initiative.
Since 2008, the Secretariat implements support activities for the dialogue. While the scope of these consecutive projects and their specific activities and objectives has evolved over time, they generally have focused on three areas:
● Support to the dialogue via the organisation of meetings and the development of communications tools;
● Coordination, knowledge development, sharing of good practices among the dialogue partners;
● Additional activities aimed at building the capacities of selected partner countries to support the implementation of the objectives set at dialogue meetings.
Funding and implementing partners
The Rabat Process Secretariat and its activities are currently funded by the European Union. The European Commission entrusts the role of Secretariat to organisations in the area of migration. Currently, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is implementing the Secretariat as part of the overarching project “Support to Africa-EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue (MMD)”. The MMD project contributes to the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, launched at the Africa–EU Summit in Lisbon in 2007.
- Information about the priorities of the current Steering Committee Chair and activities of the Secretariat can be found in the news section.