Since 1 February 2024, the Republic of Portugal has assumed the Chairmanship of the Rabat Process, taking over from the Kingdom of Morocco, in accordance with the usual rotation system between Africa and Europe. The handover ceremony took place in Rabat, Morocco, during the Senior Officials meeting organised by the outgoing Chairmanship. In a video interview, Luis Goes Pinheiro, President of the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA), presented the vision and priorities of the Portuguese Chairmanship of the Rabat Process. 


“Since the beginning, we have been actively involved in this process, so we understand the advantages of having such a forum, where African and European countries can share their knowledge and good practices on migration, and thus better define the policies that each country needs to implement.”
- Luis Goes Pinheiro, President of the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA).

Dynamism and renewed engagement within the Rabat Process

As a member of the Rabat Process since its inception, Portugal eagerly welcomes the responsibility to chair the Dialogue once again, emphasising the dynamism and renewed engagement of all partner countries. During its mandate, the Chairmanship will ensure thematic and geographic balance, actively engaging all stakeholders specialised in migration issues, including key actors such as civil society and private sector.

To advance the implementation of the Cadiz Action Plan, Portugal will focus its chairmanship on three key thematic priorities:

Regular migration and mobility

“We will try to identify new labour mobility schemes, particularly through Talent Partnerships”, explains Luis Goes Pinheiro, President of AIMA. Portugal also places a particular focus on the portability of social rights and the smooth recognition of diplomas as well as professional experience.

Aligned with Objective 3, Area 2 of the Cadiz Action Plan, Portugal, in partnership with Cabo Verde, will organise a meeting which will focus on fostering regular migration and mobility within and between Europe, North, West and Central Africa. The meeting will take place in June, hosted by Cabo Verde on the island of Sao Vicente.

Protection and asylum

Portugal places significant emphasis on protection and asylum matters and will particularly look at promoting sustainable solutions for the integration of refugees, asylum seekers, and forcibly displaced people within host communities.  

Benefits of migration for development

Recognising the positive effects of migration on the development of origin, transit and destination countries, Portugal will strive to promote good practices related to diaspora engagement. To this end, Portugal will organise a first thematic meeting in Lisbon in May 2024, co-chaired by Senegal and with the support of Nigeria as reference country for Area 1. This meeting will center on diaspora engagement, particularly emphasising entrepreneurship, and with a dedicated focus on youth and women, and on the productive investment of migrants.

“Promoting mutual trust and tackling challenges together”

The Portuguese Chairmanship will be characterised by three key words: sharing, trust, and dynamism.

Central to the spirit of the Rabat Process lies a sense of sharing common values. The Dialogue gathers 57 countries along with observers and international organisations with the aim to find common solutions to migration challenges. For Portugal, it is also essential to reiterate the core values underpinning this Dialogue, with a primary emphasis upholding the “dignity and human rights for all migrants and refugees, regardless of their status.”

To address the migration-related challenges faced by European and African countries, the Portuguese Chairmanship emphasises the need to foster a climate of trust between the different stakeholders, in order to enhance the ownership and development of shared projects. This Dialogue is essential to “favour mutual trust and to tackle together the challenges we are facing”.

The Chairmanship promises to be dynamic and ambitious, as emphasised by Luis Goes Pinheiro, “to meet the expectations and specificities of partners”. By organising multiple activities and fostering synergies between reference countries, partners countries, as well as with other Dialogues such as the Khartoum Process, Portugal strives to enhance the vitality of the Dialogue and sustain the momentum it has built in recent years.

The calendar of upcoming meetings for the Rabat Process under the Portuguese Chairmanship can be consulted here:

Upcoming Meetings