On 16 May 2007 the European Commission published the communiqué ‘Circular migration and mobility partnerships between the European Union and third countries’, which established ‘Mobility Partnerships’ as an important tool for the EU to develop close cooperation on migration issues with EU partner countries, to manage the flow of migration (registering, monitoring, analysing and policymaking) and to enhance opportunities for legal migration as well as the effectiveness of fighting against irregular migration. Cooperation within the framework of such a Mobility Partnership is one of the most important developments in Georgia-EU relations, especially in terms of promoting legal employment in EU countries through so-called ‘circular migration’. The circular migration framework allows Georgian citizens to work legally, study, get trained, and then return to Georgia. It also aims to strengthen cooperation with representatives of the Georgian diaspora.
The Mobility Partnership between Georgia and the EU was officially launched during the visit of the European Commission delegation to Georgia on 16 February 2010. Mobility Partnerships focus on migration issues such as migration management, labour migration, readmission, reintegration, diaspora, document security, integral migration databases and the exchange of information with the EU, labour markets and recognition of professional qualifications.
The first EU-Georgia Mobility Partnership Cooperation meeting was held in Brussels on 15 September 2010. On 30 January 2012, the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration held the first Mobility Partnership Local Cooperation Platform meeting. During this meeting, participants discussed the results achieved and future prospects of cooperation.
On 22 April 2016, the EU and Georgia held their 2nd High-Level Mobility Partnership meeting in Brussels. The aim of this meeting was to take stock of the actions taken within the framework of the Georgia-EU Mobility Partnership and to share views on further enhancing the cooperation amongst member states, EU institutions, EU agencies and the relevant authorities of Georgia. The Georgian delegation was led by Georgia’s First Deputy State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Mr Archil Karaulashvili, and supported by representatives of several ministries and state agencies. Eight member states attended the meeting, such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia, as well as Frontex and ETF. The two implementing partners ICMPD and IOM also joined the meeting to discuss the state of implementation of the Mobility Partnership and future priorities. During the meeting the updates on the main developments in Georgia’s legislative framework, reinforcement of the institutional capacities, planned projects and list of priorities for the future were presented and discussed by all parties involved. Among the other issues development of the online scoreboard to replace the Annex to the Joint Declaration of the Mobility Partnership was agreed between the parties. .
The second meeting of the EU-Georgia Mobility Partnership Local Cooperation Platform took place on 9 June 2017 in Tbilisi, bringing together representatives of EU Institutions and EU Member States, Georgian authorities, IOM and ICMPD. The event was organised at the initiative of the Government of Georgia and the European Commission as a part of the mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the Joint Declaration on a Mobility Partnership between the European Union and Georgia of 2009. The objectives of the meeting were to discuss the mechanisms for dialogue and for monitoring the projects under the Mobility Partnership.
Information source: European Commission