Priority areas in cooperation with China and India include political and economic relations, people-to-people contacts and increased strategic cooperation, including on home affairs issues.
The EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership came into force in 2003. In the area of Home Affairs, cooperation with China has developed by way of the 2004 Memorandum of Understanding on visas, as well as through consultations on fighting unauthorised migration and trafficking in human beings.
Current relations with China with regard to migration and mobility are governed by a roadmap (9 April 2015).
EU-China Mobility and Migration Dialogue
The roadmap of the EU-China Mobility and Migration Dialogue includes two phases. The first phase included the signature of the EU-China short stay visa waiver agreement (VWA) for holders of diplomatic passports (February 2016), and the permission received from China for EU Member States to open Visa Application Centres (VACs) in 15 Chinese cities, as well as the first expert meeting on combatting illegal migration held in November 2015 in Beijing.
The second phase of the roadmap involves parallel negotiations on a visa facilitation agreement (VFA) covering holders of other types of passports (including ordinary passports). This also includes discussions on the further opening of Visa Application Centres (VACs) in additional Chinese cities; and an agreement on cooperation in combating illegal migration (CIMA – including provisions on readmission in line with the EU mandate of 2002).
The last EU-China Mobility and Migration Dialogue took place in 2017 in China. The parallel negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission are still ongoing.
The EU-China Summit Joint statement of 9 April 2019, stated that “the EU and China commit to actively engage in the EU-China Mobility and Migration Dialogue and to swiftly conclude the parallel negotiations on the agreements on visa facilitation and on cooperation in combating illegal migration.”
The EU-India Strategic Partnership is implemented through the EU-India Joint Action Plan (JAP), revised in 2008 , which features Home Affairs issues such as terrorism, organised crime, migration and consular issues. Home Affairs are also a regular part of the EU-India Summits.
EU-India Dialogue on Migration and Mobility
The importance of migration cooperation with India is underlined in the Stockholm Programme. A High Level EU-India Dialogue on Migration and Mobility (HLDMM) was launched in 2006, and has convened several times since, lastly in 2019. The High Level Dialogue has been gradually expanded, since the December 2010 EU-India Summit emphasised the importance of movement of people, and agreed to deepen cooperation by establishing a regular, comprehensive and structured dialogue on migration issues. This was formalised in the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM), signed in 2016. In September 2017, a project to support actions agreed under the HLDMM and the CAMM was launched, and is currently implemented by ICMPD and ILO.