The first ever meeting of the Rabat Process focusing specifically on labour migration took place on 16th and 17th December 2021. The virtual meeting, originally planned to take place in Lisbon, was co-chaired by Portugal and Cabo Verde, reference countries for legal migration and mobility (domain 2 of the Marrakesh Action Plan). Despite the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual meeting attracted a diverse public of over 100 participants, comprising 25 Rabat Process partner countries and ten international organisations and civil society organisations.

The importance that the Rabat Process partners attach to the topic of legal migration was also illustrated by the high-level representatives speaking at the opening ceremony, including the Minister of Home Affairs and Justice of Portugal and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration of Cabo Verde. Spain, the current Rabat Process Chair, was represented by its Secretary of State for Migrations who announced that legal migration will be one of Spain’s priorities in 2022 and that there will be a thematic meeting on the subject later this year.

Exchanging best practices on policies and projects on labour migration

The virtual meeting created a space for the exchange of best practices on the development of projects and policies on legal migration among political decision makers, operational actors and partners of the Rabat Process. The outcome document provides an overview of the main conclusions of the meeting and the challenges and opportunities linked with labour migration between the EU and its partner countries. More specifically, the outcome document includes information on:

  • The Euro-African context of legal migration;
  • Pilot projects for Talent Partnerships: models of partnerships between the EU and Africa;
  • Labour migration initiatives and models to strengthen Euro-African relations;
  • Examples of initiatives and projects aiming to promote mobility of recent graduates and young talent;
  •  Examples of projects and initiatives concerning the multi-party and sectorial approach to labour migration.
A short summary of the main findings and conclusions
The following findings and conclusions stood out particularly:
  • There is a variety of global and continental political frameworks regarding labour migration in Africa and there are many migration governance challenges.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on mobility and on legal migration systems, in particular in terms of migration governance.
  • EU pilot projects on legal migration implemented since 2018 have made it possible to try out different labour migration schemes between the EU and partner countries.
  • The Global Skill Partnerships initiative makes it possible to make skilled migration beneficial for countries of origin, countries of destination and migrants.
  • The THAMM initiative (Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa) is a good example of a successful labour migration model between the EU and North Africa.
  • The diaspora is a key actor in the implementation of labour migration programmes.
  • The private sector plays a crucial role in labour migration projects by strengthening the mobility of workers towards the EU.

Resources and downloads

The following resources provide further insights into the best practices shared by the speakers:


Opening ceremony

Thematic roundtables