EU set on deal with India on migration and mobility

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018

EU Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski

The European Union is hopeful of sealing a deal on migration with India soon, even as the chief trade negotiators from the two sides are set to meet on January 18 to discuss the contentious Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).

“We are facing this extremely challenging issue of migration. But it does not have an impact on our relations with India. Additionally, I would like to underline that we established a dialogue on migration and mobility with India. This is separate from the free trade agreement (FTA),” EU Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski told BusinessLine on being asked about India’s demand for greater access in EU markets for its professionals.

He added that although this agreement will be reached outside the ambit of the BTIA, the deal would help in “better facilitation of such exchanges.”

Visas as usual

Kozlowski, however, stated that the issues the bloc is facing domestically will not stop it from issuing Schengen visas to Indian citizens.

“Our intention is to reach an agreement with India, which would facilitate legal migration and help us deal with illegal migration.

“Our problems inside or on our borders have no impact on issuing Schengen visas to Indian citizens,” he added. The main issues that were discussed during the last round of talks on migration and mobility were to establish four priority areas for future bilateral cooperation with India. These were safe and legal migration, combating irregular migration, migration and development, and sharing of information and practices regarding international protection of those in need.

A high-level EU-India Dialogue on Migration and Mobility was launched in 2006 under the framework of the EU Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM). GAMM is implemented through comprehensive framework Common Agendas for Migration and Mobility (CAMM). The last round of talks was held in Delhi in July 2012, following which a draft copy of the CAMM was sent to India on April 2013, to which India replied in 2015.

Published on January 08, 2016

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