India and the European Union (EU) have discussed the promotion of safe and orderly migration and cooperation to facilitate the mobility of professionals, students and skilled workforce to benefit both sides, the external affairs ministry informed in a statement on Friday.
The discussions were part of the 6th high level dialogue on migration and mobility between the two sides that was held in Brussels on Thursday. The previous edition of the dialogue was hosted by India in July 2019.
The talks covered a “wide range of issues related to the promotion of safe, orderly and regular migration, including prevention of irregular migration”, the ministry said.
The two sides also discussed “potential areas of cooperation to facilitate mobility and migration of talented professionals, students and skilled workforce for the mutual benefit of both partners”.
Ausaf Sayeed, the secretary for consular, passport and visa in the external affairs ministry, and Monique Pariat, the director general for migration and home affairs in the European Commission, co-chaired the dialogue.
Sayeed said in a post on Facebook that he discussed the need for easing travel of Indian students, businessmen and tourists to the EU, finding newer pathways for legal migration, collaboration on skill mapping, and tie-ups between reputed institutions of India and the EU.
India and the EU expressed satisfaction at the implementation of their Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), which was signed in 2016. “As India and EU celebrate 60 years of diplomatic ties, the dialogue is an important dimension of the strategic partnership between India and EU,” the statement said.
Migration and mobility of professionals and students has become a key part of India’s business and trade talks with important partners across the world. Earlier this month, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said that India and Australia are discussing a proposal for an understanding regarding the mobility of professionals and students as part of efforts to broaden the bilateral partnership.
India and the EU are also currently engaged in negotiations on separate agreements on trade, investment protection and geographical indications. These agreements are expected to be finalised by 2023.
The dialogue was also attended by representatives of diplomatic missions of EU member states in Brussels. The representatives of line ministries of the Indian government, such as the home ministry and ministry of skill development and labour ministry too were part of the Indian delegation.
The EU is India’s third largest trade partner, accounting for trade in goods worth $86.75 billion in 2021 or 10.8% of the country’s total trade. Out of the total Indian immigrants abroad, 8.5% are in Europe, with Italy as the main destination, followed by Germany, France, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands.