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17 February, 2017 09:56:28 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 February, 2017 12:47:00 PM
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Bangladesh, EU agree to finalise procedures

Independent Online/Diplomatic Correspondent
Bangladesh, EU agree to finalise procedures

Bangladesh and the European Union, a bloc of 28 countries, have agreed to finalise as early as possible the work on standard operating procedures (SOP) with regard to the repatriation of Bangladeshi irregular migrants from the EU nations.

Both sides reached the agreement at the second Bangladesh-EU Diplomatic Consultations held in Brussels on Wednesday, according to a joint statement forwarded by the EU Delegation in Dhaka yesterday. “EU and Bangladesh agreed to launch an information and awareness raising campaign on the risks of irregular migration with a workshop on 28 February 2017 in Dhaka.

In this context, it was also agreed to finalise work on the Standard Operating Procedures regarding the return of irregular migrants with no right to stay in the EU as soon as possible,” read the statement. According to sources at the Foreign Ministry, the EU has long been asking Bangladesh to take back it irregular migrants from the member states while Bangladesh voiced its opinion in favour of regularising them.

The EU disagreed with the notion saying that this will not help, rather it will invite more irregular migrants. At the consultations, Foreign Secretary led the Bangladesh delegation while the EU side was headed by Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific Gunnar Wiegand.

The consultations were held in a constructive and cordial atmosphere, covering a wide range of issues of common interest, said the statement.

The agenda included political developments on both sides: the EU Global Strategy, trade and investment - including Everything But Arms - and other issues of bilateral importance.

Matters of regional and global interest where the EU and Bangladesh can intensify collaboration were also discussed, such as connectivity, migration, peace and security, terrorism and Agenda 2030.

The EU and Bangladesh also agreed to intensify cooperation on HORIZON 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020), and jointly explore new areas for cooperation such as: science, technology, and innovation, space issues.

Finally, both parties recognised the importance of ongoing people-to-people contacts, including under the ERASMUS programme, an EU exchange student programme, and emphasised on the need to jointly explore new avenues for such contacts which could, inter alia, be of particular benefit to the youth. Both parties agreed to work on this common agenda with a view to reaching concrete progress and deliverables, which will be reviewed in the course of the next consultations to be held in Dhaka in 2018.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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