Non-Binding Joint Declaration Between Mauritania and the EU on Migration

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A joint declaration was released by the European Union (EU) and Nouakchott, Mauritania, which established a partnership to strengthen efforts on migration. The public was eagerly anticipating details on how the two parties planned to manage and combat irregular migration, especially after rumors on social media networks. However, the government repeatedly denied such speculations. Below are the highlights of the public document.

According to the roadmap attached to the declaration, five thematic areas concerning migration will be subject to consultation: a chapter aimed at fostering social cohesion among youth through socio-economic opportunities, another to assist Mauritania in responding to the influx of refugees, and supporting the communities hosting them, and yet another to support student mobility by, for example, improving visa issuance procedures.

Additionally, highly anticipated chapters include those concerning the fight against irregular immigration and migrant trafficking and the management, monitoring, and control of borders. Jean-Marc Dewerpe, head of cooperation at the EU delegation in Mauritania, stated:

“Combatting and prosecuting migrant smugglers and human trafficking networks, including through concerted investigations. Strengthening the resources and capacities of border management authorities. Enhancing search and rescue operations. Facilitating the return of those who do not have the right to stay while respecting human rights.”

Regarding returns to Mauritania, the document only mentions the potential return “of Mauritanians staying irregularly in Europe.” This is an important clarification, according to Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh, Minister of Economy, who stated: “I affirm here that Mauritania will never be the (alternative) homeland for foreign illegal migrants. We will not receive, shelter, or grant them citizenship.”

As part of the partnership’s reinforcement, over 210 million euros are expected to be allocated by the end of the year.

This declaration underscores the commitment of Mauritania and the EU to address migration challenges through cooperation, while also emphasizing the importance of respecting human rights and ensuring the security of borders.


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