Mar 12, Colombo:Sri Lanka has made a request to increase skilled labor migration to the European Union countries during a joint meeting between officials of the European Commission and Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The 5th meeting of the Joint Readmission Committee between Sri Lanka and the European Commission was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo on 11th March 2019.
The Meeting was co-chaired by Additional Secretary (Multilateral Affairs), Ahmed A. Jawad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Head of Unit of Irregular Migration and Return Policy, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG-Home) of the European Commission, Dan Rotenberg.
The Agreement between the European Community and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the Readmission of Persons Residing without Authorization, was signed on the 4th of June 2004 and entered into force on 1st May 2005.
The agreement was part of an initiative to combat illegal migration and was also an indication of the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka and the European Community to combat all forms of organized crimes. The Agreement also guarantees the safe and orderly return of illegal migrants and failed asylum seekers back to their country of origin.
As provisioned in the Agreement, the Joint Readmission Committee deals with issues pertaining to the operationalization of the provisions of the Readmission Agreement, including the implementation of its provisions with the European Union Member States.
The discussions were held in a very cordial atmosphere with both Parties pledging support in fulfilling the obligations under the Agreement.
The Parties exchanged information on the implementation process of the Agreement, statistics with regard to returnees, return and reintegration support, skilled migration and the readmission policy of both Sri Lanka and the European Union.
On a proposal made by the Sri Lanka delegation, the potential for enhancing Sri Lanka's presence in the European Union skilled labor migration market was explored. Already a significant number of Sri Lankan migrant workers are employed in the European Union Member States.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Controller General of the Department of Immigration & Emigration, M.N. Ranasinghe and senior officials from the Department of Immigration along with the Deputy General Manager, R.K.K.M.P. Randeniya, of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment comprised the Sri Lanka Delegation.
The European Commission Delegation consisted of the European Union Delegation in Colombo and the European Centre for Returns (Frontex). Representatives from member states including the Netherlands, Germany, France, Romania and the United Kingdom were present as observers.