Today, the European Union and Niger have stepped up their cooperation. A Working Arrangement between Frontex and the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Niger was signed in Brussels by Frontex Executive Director ad interim Aija Kalnaja and EUCAP Sahel Niger Head of Mission, Antje Pittelkau. The signing ceremony took place during the official visit of Niger’s Interior Minister to Brussels Hamadou Adamou Souley, who earlier held a bilateral meeting with EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.
This new partnership will help save lives, undermine the business model of criminal networks, prevent migrants’ exploitation, and protect their fundamental rights. It will also promote Integrated Border Management standards and improve awareness and risk analysis.
Niger and the European Union have worked as trusted partners in the Sahel region and engaged in several joint initiatives addressing migration and broader security issues, including the fight against criminal networks.
“I am pleased that Frontex and EUCAP Sahel Niger will now formalise existing cooperation through the conclusion of the Working Arrangement. I very much appreciate the efforts undertaken to strengthen our relations and to increase our cooperation. For Frontex EUCAP Sahel is a priority CSDP Mission, that we aim to develop a structured and long-term cooperation with,” said Director Kalnaja, who expressed her hopes for a successful and long-term cooperation.
The operational partnership to fight migrant smuggling reflects shared needs and aims to achieve common objectives set out in the renewed EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (2021-2025).