Greece Takes Over ICMPD Chairmanship from Türkiye: Reorientation of Migration Partnerships

PeopleOther ♦ Published: February 20, 2024; 10:55 ♦ (Vindobona)

At a ceremony in Brussels, the chairmanship of the steering group of the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) was handed over from Türkiye to Greece. Under the motto "A holistic approach to balanced migration partnerships", high-level representatives came together to discuss the future direction of migration policy.

Turkey has handed over the chairmanship of the steering group of the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) to Greece. / Picture: ©

In his speech, Turkish Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı, Permanent Representative to the EU, praised Turkey's achievements during its Presidency in 2023 and emphasized the country's important role in migration management. He also emphasized the fruitful dialogue and cooperation between Türkiye and Greece and wished his successor a successful presidency.

Ambassador Ioannis Vrailas, Permanent Representative of Greece to the EU, stated that Greece will build on Türkiye's significant work, especially in cooperation with key partners and in the external dimension. "The ICMPD plays a crucial role in building strong relations with countries of origin and transit. Only together with the EU and partner countries can we overcome common challenges and turn migration into an opportunity," said Vrailas.

During the high-level panel discussion, moderated by ICMPD Head of Mission in Brussels Ralph Genetzke, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, emphasized that successful migration management is based on respectful, mutually beneficial, and long-term cooperation. She emphasized that migration is linked to other issues that should be addressed through international partnerships.

Dimitrios Kairidis, Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum, praised the broader cooperation between Türkiye and Greece as an example of a partnership that can deliver tangible results. He emphasized the need to overcome polarized debates and work towards substantive solutions and balanced policies as proposed by the ICMPD.

Michael Spindelegger, Director General of ICMPD, highlighted the growing interest of Member States and partners in promoting labor migration and legal migration pathways. He presented practical examples of how ICMPD supports comprehensive partnerships, including the Mediterranean Training Institute and support for the EU-India High-Level Dialogue.

Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, concluded the event by stating that the EU has learned from the hard lessons of the past and is now pursuing a strategic plan with internal cohesion and external cooperation. "The ICMPD has been a trusted partner for 30 years, and also given the geopolitical horizon, we can count on the support of the ICMPD for another 30 years," Schinas said.

The event concluded with a reception hosted by Minister Dimitrios Kairidis and Ambassador Ioannis Vrailas and marked the beginning of a new chapter in cooperation in the field of migration and asylum under the leadership of Greece.