‘Talent Partnership’ for Africa: EU Plans to Launch Job Deals with Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia in 2022

Written by | Friday, April 29th, 2022

The European Commission has launched Talent Partnerships, a key initiative under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum that will, according to the EU executive’s website, “help to address skills shortages in the European Union and to strengthen mutually-beneficial partnerships on migration with third countries.”
The Commission has been using labour migration to pressure countries into preventing people from fleeing to Europe on an irregular basis. The idea behind the scheme is to create so-called “talent partnerships”, where people can present themselves for possible job opportunities in an EU member state, before ever leaving their country. Launched in June 2021, the “Partnership to Attract Talent” initiative also aims to help address the skill shortage in several key areas in the EU and “strengthen mutually beneficial partnerships on migration with third countries”. As part of the implementation of this initiative, the EU executive announced its “intention, based on strong and continued cooperation on all aspects of migration management, within the framework of the new Agreement on Migration and Asylum, to launch the first “Talent Partnership” with Maghreb partners, notably Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia, so that their implementation can begin by the end of 2022.
In the second phase, the Commission plans to begin assessing the feasibility of launching talent partnerships with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Senegal and Nigeria, one of the key components of cooperation on migration management with those countries. It also proposes to establish a European talent pool, the first EU-wide platform and matching tool, to make European labor market more attractive to third-country nationals seeking opportunities and to help employees find the talent they need. The Commission says that it is also studying the possibilities of new channels for legal migration in the EU in the medium and long term. She sees value in focusing on forward-looking policies in three areas of action: care, youth and innovation.
“Well-managed, legal migration can bring great benefits to our society and the economy – especially as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas. “Talent Partnerships are a ‘triple win’ for all the parties involved — member states, partner countries and migrants themselves.” Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, added that “Replacing irregular migration with legal pathways should be our strategic objective. We need legal migration: Europe’s working age population is shrinking and many key sectors face skills shortages, like healthcare and agriculture.” Still, the London and Washington-based Center for Global Development argues that “these projects could go further, with European countries channeling aid and investment to actually build skills and talent within Africa for Africa, thereby countering “brain drain” and making the partnership truly mutually beneficial.”

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