Alexandria hosted a business dinner in honour of European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas and EU Ambassador Christian Berger, in the presence President of the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) Ahmed El Wakil and Secretary General of the Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations (CEEBA) Alaa Ezz.
The high-level event was attended by senior officials of DG HOME, the European External Action Service, and the EU delegation, the board of Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, EU member state’s consulates, and the senior members of the Greek community in Alexandria.
The discussions encompassed EU-Egypt and Euro-Mediterranean cooperation at all fronts with a special focus on economic cooperation and migration said Ahmed El Wakil who added that the Vice-President is mandated with promoting the European Way of Life encompassing Migration, Security, Health, Skills, Education, Culture, Sport, and fighting antisemitism.
Vice-President Schinas said: “Whilst our Member States are busy managing the arrival of over 5 million people from Ukraine, as well as 2 to 3 million nationals from non-EU countries come to the EU legally, besides the host of illegal migration, this does not preclude the need to lay the foundations of a sustainable and common approach to labour migration to address EU skills needs in the long term. With today’s initiatives we recognize that legal migration has a positive impact all round: it gives those who want to migrate an opportunity to improve their circumstances while providing more skilled workers for host countries, who in turn boost the economy for all.” He added that “working together on combating illegal migration from Mediterranean countries is a must, both as source and transit”.
EU Ambassador Christian Berger added that establishing a mechanism for promoting legal migration is of utmost importance for Egypt especially that remittances of Egyptian expats is the number one source of foreign currency exceeding $32bn annually.
Alaa Ezz explained that the discussions encompassed creating mechanisms for sourcing EU needs, screening and training the needed workers through various Team Europe TVET initiatives while including language and soft skills to ease their integration and prevent the China Town syndrome. Moreover, establishing a Pan Euro-Mediterranean Certification system will not only ease the process and ensure quality, but will be an essential tool for attracting FDI, supporting Egyptian businesses, and creating high paying jobs, as well as increasing the income of Egyptian workers in non-EU countries such as the GCC.