Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process)

Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) 



Type : Inter-regional forum on migration (regions covered: Africa -Europe)

Established: 2006

The Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) brings together countries of origin, transit and destination of the migration routes linking Central, West and Northern Africa with Europe as well as the European Commission (EC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to tackle questions arising from migration issues. The Rabat Process provides a framework for consultation and coordination; contributes to meeting the challenges posed by migration; and encourages opportunities for exchange and development. 

Current Thematic Focus
The 5th Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development defined the current multi-annual cooperation program of the Rabat Process in the Marrakesh Political Declaration and Action Plan. This non-binding cooperation framework helps to coordinate national efforts in the area of ​​migration management and shapes the focus and priorities of the dialogue for the period of 2018-2020. It focuses on 5 thematic domains. 

  1. Development benefits of migration / Root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement 
  2. Legal migration and mobility 
  3. Protection and asylum 
  4. Irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings
  5. Return, readmission and reintegration

Member States [Rabat Process refers to these as “partner States”] (55 States, including 26 African countries and 29 European countries)

Austria Italy
Belgium Latvia
Benign Liberia
Bulgaria Lithuania
Burkina Faso Luxembourg
Cameroon Mali
Cabo Verde Malta
Central African Republic Morocco
Chad Mauritania
Ivory Coast Netherlands, The
Croatia Niger
Cyprus Nigeria
Czechia Norway
Democratic Republic of Congo Poland
Denmark Portugal
Estonia Republic of the Congo
Finland Romania
France São Tomé and Príncipe
Gabon Senegal
Gambia Sierra Leone
Germany Slovakia
Ghana Slovenia
Greece Spain
Guinea-Bissau Sweden
Guinea Switzerland
Equatorial-Guinea Togo
Hungary Tunisia
* Since the Rabat Process Ministerial Conference, held in November 2014, Egypt is no longer member of the Rabat Process. The option to join again remains open to them. 

Due to its exit from the EU the UK is no more a Rabat Process Member State as of 2020.  The option to join again remains open.

Note : Founding Members: France, Morocco, Senegal and Spain.

Member Organizations [Rabat Process refers to these as “partner organizations”] (2 organizations)
European Commission
Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Chairing country
A rotating Chair system is in place whereby the Chair alternates between African and European member States of the Steering Committee.
Current Chair: Equatorial Guinea
Incoming Chair: Spain
Past Chairs: France (2019-2020), Burkina Faso (2018), Belgium (2017), Mali (2016)

Observer States (2 countries)


Observer Organizations (8 organizations)
A number of international organizations participate in the Rabat Process as observers. Civil society, diaspora and academic representatives also participate frequently in dialogue meetings on ad hoc basis, without official observer status.

African Development Bank
EU External Borders Agency (Frontex)
International Labor Organization (ILO)
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC)
World Bank

The Network of Focal Points
Each national administration and organization involved in the Rabat Process is represented by a Focal Point. These contact points share their knowledge at the dialogue meetings or identify national experts to do so in order to always ensure their country's high quality technical inputs to these meetings. The network of focal points is the backbone of the Rabat Process and contributes significantly to the continuing success of the dialogue. 

Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is the strategic governing body of the Rabat Process. Its role is to stimulate cooperation between participating States, to prepare the political orientation of the dialogue and to follow up on the implementation of the ministerial declarations. It included five African countries (Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Morocco and Senegal) and five European countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain), as well as the European Commission and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS ). The Steering Committee guides the dialogue according to its “Operating Modalities” and the priorities established at the different levels of dialogue. 

Reference Countries
A system of reference countries partners to volunteer to coordinate and undertake activities within a particular domain of the Marrakesh Action Plan , in collaboration with other reference countries. This system enables countries to take ownership of the Marrakesh Action Plan, promotes coordination between partner countries and strengthens the geographical balance and representation of all interests.  

Current reference countries:
Domain 1: Nigeria 
Domain 2: Cabo Verde and Portugal
Domain 3: Switzerland
Domain 4: Ivory Coast, Niger and Spain
Domain 5: Cameroon and Togo

For more information, visit the Rabat Process website .

The Chair
The Steering Committee is presided by its Chair who is also the Rabat Process Chair. The chair rotates periodically between the African and European members of the Steering Committee, which contributes to the dialogue's balanced governance. The purpose and duty of the chair is to contribute to the advancement of the dialogue, foster ownership and maintain the momentum created at dialogue meetings. 

The Secretariat was established to facilitate the dialogue process and generally focuses on three areas:

  • Support to the dialogue via the organization of meetings and the development of communication tools
  • Coordination, knowledge management, sharing of good practices among the dialogue partners
  • Additional activities aimed at building the capacities of partner countries to support the implementation of the objectives set in the dialogue strategic framework

The Secretariat is currently funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in the framework of the project “Support to Africa-EU Migration and Mobility Dialogue (MMD)”. The current cycle is the fifth phase of the Support Project and covers the period 2018-2020. 

Contact Information
E-Mail: [email protected]


The Rabat Process Secretariat has organized a series of consultations with international organizations, civil society and the academia in order to include their perspective and recommendations in the elaboration of the next political declaration and action plan 2018-2020 .

April 20-21, 2021, Paris, France, Senior Officials' Meeting
April 19, 2021, Paris, France, Thematic Workshop on Migration and Development

December 15, 2020, Virtual Event, Joint Steering Committee Meeting of the Khartoum Process and the Rabat Process on the Update of the Joint Valletta Action Plan (JVAP) 
October 28, 2020, Virtual Event, Coordination meeting with reference countries 
October 15 2020, Virtual Event, Steering Committee meeting

September 16, 2020, Virtual Event, Webinar on the Assessment of Anti-Trafficking Gaps, Needs and Transferrable Practices in the Member States of ECOWAS and Mauritania
February 18, 2020, Brussels, Belgium, Steering Committee Meeting 

November 13, 2019, Brussels, Belgium, Steering Committee Meeting on Joint Valetta Action Plan
November 2019, Abuja, Nigeria, Technical Workshop on Remittances and Sustainable Development
October 24, 2019 , Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Workshop on the fight against migrant smuggling
September 2019, Brussels, Belgium, Steering Committee Meeting
July 1-2, 2019, Madrid, Spain, Thematic Meeting on border management
June 3, 2019, Brussels, Belgium, Steering Committee Meeting (Handover Chairmanship to France)
February 12-13, 2019, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Senior Officials Meeting / Launch of Marrakesh Action Plan 2018-2020
February 11, 2019, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Steering Committee Meeting
January 23, 2019, Brussels, Belgium, Steering Committee Meeting
November 14-15, 2018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Joint Valetta Action Plan Senior Officials' Meeting
October 23-24, 2018, Paris, France, Thematic Meeting on the Root Causes of Irregular Migration
May 2, 2018, Marrakesh, Morocco, 5th Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development
May 1, 2018, Marrakesh, Morocco, Senior Officials Meeting
April 30, 2018, Marrakesh, Morocco, Rabat Process Steering Committee
January 25, 2018, Brussels, Belgium, Rabat Process Steering Committee
October 24-25, 2017, Accra, Ghana, Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)
May 2-3, 2017, Brussels, Belgium, Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)
February 8-9, 2017, Malta, Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on State of Play Implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan, St . Julian's
November 30-1 December, 2016, Praia, Cabo Verde Technical Meeting on Visa Facilitation
October 5-6, 2016, Bamako, Mali, Thematic Meeting on diaspora engagement strategies
June 21-22, 2016, Brussels, Belgium, Expert level stock-taking event on the implementation of the Valletta Action Plan.
May 31-June 1, 2016, Brussels, Belgium, Thematic Meeting on return, readmission and reintegration.
December 3-4, 2015, Porto, Portugal Thematic Meeting on Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrant Smuggling
December 2, 2015, Porto, Portugal Meeting of High Level Representatives of the Rabat Process
June, 15-16, 2015, Rabat, Morocco, Thematic Meeting on asylum and international protection in the Rabat Process Region
November 27, 2014, Rome, Italy, Fourth Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development
June 26-27, 2014, Rome, Italy, Senior Officials Meeting
June 6, 2012, Meeting of high level representatives' follow-up to the 3rd Euro-African Ministerial conference on migration and development
November 23, 2011, Dakar, Senegal, 3rd Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development
November 25, 2008, Paris, France, 2nd Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development
July 10-11, 2006, Rabat, Morocco, 1st Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development.

Main Documents
Rabat Process factsheet
Rabat Process 10 years brochure. A Decade of Dialogue on Migration and Development
Stocktaking report on the implementation of the Rome Program 2015-2017
Joint Valletta Action Plan
Analysis Report in preparation for the Joint Valletta Action Plan
Joint Rabat Process and Khartoum Process Conclusions of the 2017 Valletta Summit on Migration
Implementing the Marrakesh Action Plan: a new report on progress and prospects
Briefing Paper: The impact of COVID-19 on refugees and migrants on the move in North and West Africa