Document archive: Council working parties

External Aspects of Migration Working Party

The EMWP received its mandate in mid-2021, although it is considered to be a successor to High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration, which started functioning in 1998. The EMWP is responsible for taking forward discussions on the “tailor-made and mutually beneficial EU approach towards countries and regions of origin,” providing general guidance on improving the externalisation agenda, examining ways to improve cooperation between the EU and member states, and developing EU positions with regard to particular countries.

Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum

The Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum (SCIFA) was set up following the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999. In 2011 it was described by the Council’s General Secretariat as “an invaluable network for senior officials acting in politically sensitive and fast-developing EU policy field to find solutions to interrelated problems.” In 2015 it was granted a role in overseeing plans “to promote coherence between internal and external aspects of migration.”

Visa Working Party

The Visa Working Party “deals with the common visa policy in relation to citizens from non-EU countries subject to a visa requirement.” Documents archived here concern meetings from September 2023 onwards.

Working Party on Frontiers

The Working Party on Frontiers deals “in particular with measures relating to the crossing of external and internal borders of the Schengen states,” and “questions related to the EU agency for the management of external borders, Frontex.”

Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion

The Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion (IMEX) is one of 16 official justice and home affairs working parties in the Council, though it is unclear when and why its mandate was granted. According to the Council it “deals with issues related to entry to, exit from and integration in the EU.” For those purposes, it meets in different formats – for example, IMEX (Admission) or IMEX (Expulsion), the latter being most relevant for this project.

Operational Coordination Mechanism on the External Dimension of Migration (MOCADEM)

MOCADEM was set up in January 2022 to "enable the Union to coordinate and react in a timely manner to issues related to the external dimension of migration." It works to "prepare and propose operational actions relating to the means and leverages to be mobilised to implement the Union's objectives for each third country concerned."

European Council

As the European Council itself states: "The European Council defines the EU's overall political direction and priorities, traditionally by adopting conclusions. It does not negotiate or adopt EU laws." It is made up of the heads of state or government of EU member states.

Justice and Home Affairs Council

The Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council is made up of the justice and interior ministers of EU member states. It has responsibility for approving negotiating positions and legislation related to the EU's Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. It is one of the EU's two official co-legislators, alongside the European Parliament. The JHA Council, like other Council configurations, also adopts conclusions. These can be considered a form of "soft law": they are not legally binding on EU member states, but are used to signal political agreement on an issue and can enable (and legitimate) cooperation between two or more member states.


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