European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi launched with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Egyptian Ministry of Defence on Monday the first phase of a new €80m programme to enhance border management and search and rescue operations on land and sea.
Previously, the operational agreement between the EU, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and CIVIPOL — the technical cooperation operator of the French Ministry of Interior — was signed to implement the first phase of the programme with €23m.
The programme will support the purchase of search and rescue equipment as well as deliver specialised training to enhance knowledge and skills on humanitarian border management with respect to national and international commitments.
Praising the strong partnership between the EU and Egypt, Várhelyi said: “I am honoured to launch the implementation of a new ambitious programme in the spirit of partnership and in support of orderly migration flows on both sides of the Mediterranean.”
Meanwhile, France’s Ambassador in Cairo Marc Baréty said that “France is honoured to contribute by its expertise to this strategic partnership between the EU and Egypt aiming to save lives at sea and fight against human trafficking.”
“This new agreement would not have been possible without the crucial engagement of the Ministry of Defence in combating criminal networks of smugglers of migrants and traffickers in persons,” added Chief of Mission of IOM Egypt Laurent de Boeck.
“We welcome this new partnership as a continuation of four years of fruitful cooperation with the Liaison Agency with International Organisations (LAWIO) of the Ministry of Defence, which allowed promoting and defending the human rights of migrants.”
The second phase is expected to be launched in 2023.