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News blog13 June 2021Directorate-General for Communication

How can the EU match skill needs and legal migration: talent partnerships

Europe needs talent. And talent needs Europe.

That’s why the High Level Launch Event on Talent Partnerships this Friday 11 June, was important. Member States, social and economic partners and other relevant stakeholders agreed on the importance of “going from concept to action”.

Talent Partnership aims to help people from third countries to work, train or study in Europe. To learn new skills and contribute to European society and economy. Also, to build mutually beneficial partnerships, with countries outside the European Union to manage migration, partnerships that increase legal options, and reduce irregular arrivals.

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The New Pact on Migration and Asylum promote tailor-made legal migration with partner countries within Talent Partnerships.

It provides a framework for Member States to build on their efforts. For example, there are already pilots for cooperation between Spain-Morocco, Lithuania/Nigeria, Italy/Tunisia and Libya, Belgium/Senegal, Austria/Nigeria and many others.

I recounted some examples, Amarachi from Nigeria or Yasmine from Morocco, in my opening speech at the launch event. They are inspiring examples that show how doable these schemes are. Assurance engineering or architecture are skills needed in Europe and ones that can benefit the country of origin in the long term. The connections, the skills that will be passed on, and the ‘circular’ nature of the process between host and provider country, will help reinforce what is good and what is normal about migration.

The legal migration pilot projects such as “Young Generation as Change Agents” and the Digital Explorers programme have demonstrated how the EU can successfully support Member States in implementing legal migration schemes.

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The partnerships rely on close cooperation of authorities, labour market institutions, employers, social partners, education and training providers. As was underlined during the Launch Event that migrants coming for work should never be seen as “second rank workers”. On the contrary, they should have the appropriate rights connected to the national labor market. And in the context of maintaining good labour standards, I was very encouraged to see the active engagement of the European social partners at the event on 11 June. Their long-term engagement is essential.

Now that the Talent Partnerships are officially launched, it is time to build upon this experience and match the ambition of the Pact. We need to scale up the current programmes with partner countries. We need to better match skills and labour market needs between the EU and partner countries. To this aim, the Commission will now launch the process to establish specific tailor-made Talent Partnerships.

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For More information

New Pact on Migration and Asylum

Talent partnerships | Migration and Home Affairs (

Acting together to deepen international partnerships | European Commission (

Commission Johansson’s blog: #TimeToDeliverMigrationEU No.4 More legal pathways to the EU

Statistics on migration to Europe


Other Links

Interviews of beneficiaries of “Young Generation as Change Agents”, a Mobility Partnership Facility-funded action

Digital Explorers Website

Testimonies - Digital Explorers in Lithuania

Digital Explorers 1.0: Amarachi's Journey

Digital Explorers 1.0: John’s Journey

PARTNERSHIPS FOR MOBILITY AT THE CROSSROADS Lessons Learnt From 18 Months of Implementation of EU Pilot Projects on Legal Migration

BRIEFING PAPER EMN – JRC – DG HOME ROUNDTABLE “EU labour migration policy: time to move from a skill-based to a sector-based framework?” 5 November 2020


Migration is a global phenomenon that no country or region has the ability to address alone.

Migration cannot be properly managed without engaging with other countries. This is why last year we decided to place cooperation with our partner countries at the very heart of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, with the main objective to work hand-in-hand in ensuring the safe and orderly management of migration.

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Publication date
13 June 2021
Directorate-General for Communication