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Migration flows

In a globalized world, migration has become one of the vectors of socioeconomic transformation and relations between States. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), created in 1951, estimates that there are approximately 272 million international migrants, representing 3.5% of the world's population. In recent years, the European Union and the United Nations have placed migration at the centre of their attention and have developed an institutional and legal architecture to address migration issues in a concerted manner.

At the international level, Spain promotes a supportive and effective migration policy, actively participates in international migration forums and is an active participant in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, whose target 10.7 calls for "facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies". To this end, Spain considers cooperation with countries of origin and transit to be essential in the responsible management of safe, regular and orderly migration, as well as in the prevention of irregular migration, the fight against smuggling and human trafficking.

Frontex headquarters. Poland. Photo: NOLSOM-MAEC

In the European dimension, Spain is promoting a migration policy based on the same principles. The European Union adopted a European Agenda on Migration in 2015 and is currently working on a New Pact for Migration and Asylum to promote new common rules and procedures to ensure regular, orderly and safe migration flows on the grounds of a balance between solidarity and responsibility. 

A valuable instrument of the European Union is the migration and mobility dialogues with third States and partner countries. Of particular relevance are the Rabat Process and the Khartoum Process, established with African partner countries to contribute to the management of safe, regular and orderly migration, to jointly reinforce the fight against irregular migration and to develop programmes and specific actions to address the root causes of migration. All this without neglecting issues such as returns, readmissions and reintegration, international protection or labour migration.

In recent years, the European Union has established key institutions in the field of migration, such as the European Union Agency for Asylum or Frontex (the European Border and Coast Guard Agency). In the field of the fight against irregular migration, Spain collaborates especially with the authorities of the countries along the Atlantic and Western Mediterranean routes, offering technical support and developing a sustained effort of institutional capacity building in the countries of origin and transit.

The adoption in December 2018 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was a milestone in the international sphere, creating a framework for cooperation that recognises that no single State can address migration alone.From the outset, Spain has been a strong supporter of this Global Compact and has participated actively both in its negotiation and in its subsequent institutional development, which includes the United Nations Network on Migration and the International Migration Review Forum, which must guarantee adequate monitoring of the 23 objectives established in the Compact.

Always based on a comprehensive and route-based approach, during its Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2023, Spain has given special priority to issues such as the contribution of diasporas to development in their countries of origin, labour migration or the gender approach to migration.​


​Related documentation

Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular ​MigrationIt opens in new window

Migration policy in the European UnionIt opens in new window

Global Approach to MigrationIt opens in new window

New Pact on Migration and Asylum

FrontexIt opens in new window

Global Compact for ​​Safe, Orderly and Regular MigrationIt opens in new window