A perfect example of a migration partnership

The migration partnership between Switzerland and Nigeria is a perfect example of how common challenges can be addressed in partnership. The two countries celebrated their ten-year partnership in Abuja in March 2021. Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter attended the event.

Switzerland has established migration partnerships to address the challenges of migration and make use of the opportunities it offers. Within the framework of these migration partnerships, Switzerland views migration as a comprehensive and global phenomenon and seeks to strike a balance between its own interests, those of its partner country and those of the migrants themselves.

A migration partnership reflects the specific interests of those involved. Therefore its content is flexible and varies from country to country. Its main elements comprise projects and programmes linked specifically to emigration and immigration issues, for example in the following areas:

  • Promotion of voluntary return and reintegration
  • Strengthening of state structures in the country of origin (e.g. support to immigration or border management authorities)
  • Prevention of irregular migration (e.g. through information campaigns about the opportunities and risks)
  • Legal migration (e.g. visa policy, education and professional development)
  • Support in fighting human trafficking
  • Migration and development (improving the economic effectiveness of money transfers by migrants to their country of origin and strengthening the diaspora’s capacity to contribute to development in its country of origin)
  • Integration of migrants in the host country

Switzerland currently has migration partnerships with the following states

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Serbia
  • Kosovo
  • Nigeria
  • Tunisia
  • Sri Lanka

(Note: A migration partnership will be concluded with Georgia in 2022)

Bilateral migration policy

In addition to the migration partnership, Switzerland has three further instruments of bilateral migration cooperation: the dialogue on migration, the readmission agreement and the migration agreement.

Dialogue on migration
The dialogue on migration is an exchange between Switzerland and the partner state on migration policy interests. As part of this dialogue, the two countries develop projects and strategies together. Switzerland currently holds dialogues with around 30 countries.

Readmission agreement

Readmission agreements regulate the repatriation of persons from Switzerland to the partner state in order to manage irregular migration. Switzerland currently has more than 60 readmission agreements.

Migration agreement

Migration agreements regulate not only the terms for readmission, but also for the admission and stay of foreign nationals in Switzerland and for cooperation with the authorities of the partner state. Switzerland has concluded migration agreements with eight countries.