The Commission presented the measures aimed at a better management of migration from the Southern Mediterranean region

The package of measures proposed by the European Commission is aimed at a better management of migration flows from the Southern Mediterranean region, as well as amendments to the Visa Regulation to ensure that visa free travel does not lead to abuse. This package seeks a credible, fair and effective EU migration policy.

The proposal to amend EU Regulation 539/2001 on visas foresees the introduction of a safeguard clause that would allow, under certain exceptional conditions, for the temporary reintroduction of the visa requirement for citizens of a third country. Such a mechanism would provide the EU with a tool, to be used only in exceptional circumstances, for off-setting any possible serious adverse consequences of visa liberalisation, and in particular the arrival in the EU of a large number of irregular migrants or asylum seekers whose claims are not well-founded.

In addition, a Communication on a "Dialogue for migration, mobility and security with the Southern Mediterranean countries" has been presented. The Dialogue should encompass all migration-related aspects of the EU's future relationship with the region. Mobility Partnerships will be agreed to better manage legal mobility opportunities between the EU and the North African countries. These partnerships will be tailor-made together with each partner country and in cooperation with EU Member States. They should help countries to make better use of their labour potential for instance by providing assistance in developing recruitment programs, skills recognition or by assisting the returned migrants who want to help building their country of origin.

On the other hand, the Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2010) highlights the main developments at the EU and national levels in the field of migration last year. In order to fix-up shortcomings identified, the Report contains political recommendations namely with regard to the strengthening of border control, the prevention of irregular migration, the facilitation of legal migration, the development of a common European asylum system, the integration of third country nationals, and the development of the external dimension of the EU's migration policy.

This package of measures responds to the follow up of the Communication on Migration adopted on 4 May 2011. They will be discussed at the upcoming Justice and Home Affairs Council on 9 June 2011 and will help prepare the ground for a discussion on European asylum and migration policy between EU heads of state and government during the European Council in Brussels on 24 June 2011.