Re-imagining migration partnerships:
Challenges, opportunities and strategies

Thank you for joining us!

Over the course of two days, we hosted 9 sessions with 34 speakers, with around 150 people participating in person and more than 1,300 virtually. 

You can view all VMC2021 session recordings online and visual recaps on Twitter @ICMPD_PolRes. Share your VMC experience through our short survey here.

The VMC2021 Report will be published early next year, but in the meantime we have shared a few takeaways on re-imagining migration partnerships. 

The VMC2021 hosted a set of top level panelists and an action-packed agenda. Opening sessions focused on current priorities, such as addressing displacement from Afghanistan and the need to create functioning, sustainable African-European migration partnerships. The subsequent panel discussions explored the realities along the key routes to Europe; crisis management at the external border; the future of the European Union amidst a turbulent geopolitical scene; and final reflections on the road ahead in this highly sensitive area of international relations. 

This year’s VMC took on a hybrid format.

Download the full programme here



Six takeaways for re-imagining migration partnerships

Given the continued challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including its implications for migration, employment and recovery – and the pre-existing trends it has accelerated – there is fresh urgency for both dialogue and collective action. We at ICMPD recognise that international partnerships are vital to address current and anticipated challenges, and therefore utilised this year’s VMC as a platform to explore cooperation across migration routes. 

The VMC2021 featured intensive and wide-ranging discussions exploring challenges, opportunities and strategies for re-imagining, and ultimately strengthening, migration partnerships. Participants shared many different experiences and perspectives – but also common points on what should come next. These are some of the messages we took away on re-imagining migration partnerships:

1 – Migration partnerships are synonymous with foreign policy.

2 – Don’t forget the neighbours of your neighbours.

3 – To engage or not to engage?

4 – Pave the way for public acceptance.

5 – Be a fair and foul weather friend.

6 – Don’t reinvent the wheel.


H.E. Dr Abdullah Abdullah
Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan

Mr Selmo Cikotić
Minister of Security
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mr Notis Mitarachi
Minister for Migration and Asylum

Mr Péter Szijjártó
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ms Hamida Rais
Director General, International Cooperation on Migration, Ministry of Social Affairs

Mr Savaş Ünlü
Director General, Directorate General for Migration Management, Ministry of Interior

H.E. Ms Amira El Fadil
Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development
AU Commission

Ms Nina Gregori
Executive Director
European Asylum Support Office

Mr Johannes Luchner
Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
EU Commission

Ms Caroline de Gruyter
Correspondent for European Affairs
NRC Handelsblad

Ms Monika Sie Dhian Ho
General Director
Clingendael Institute

Mr Raoul Ueberecken
Director for Home Affairs
Council of the European Union

ICMPD strives to ensure an inclusive working environment and be attentive to gender diversity and plurality of voices represented in our initiatives.
When this is not reflected in our events, it is due to the unavailability of speakers or challenges in identifying suitable profiles in our network.

For more information on the programme and registration, please contact the VMC team

The organisation of the VMC2021
is made possible with the support of