International migration affects states in multiple ways, including economically, socially, demographically, as well as security-wise. Migration policy must, as a consequence, be comprehensive and sustainable, taking all relevant aspects into account. Governments also need to take the multifaceted nature of migration into account when co-operating with other governments.
Co-ordination among government agencies and balancing different interests are clearly challenging. Adequate organizational structures and routines must be in place. No single model would fit all governments. In the case of my own government, general migration policy outlines are normally submitted for public consultations and discussed in Parliament. Involving civil society and the public is also vital for ensuring public confidence and transparency in migration policy.
Major implementing decisions are made jointly in the cabinet of ministers, ensuring due assessment of all implications. Policies relating to migrants are mostly developed sector-wise. Migrant’s participation in the labour market is included as part of the general labour market policy; accommodation of migrants is developed as part of the general housing policy and so forth. Mainstreaming migrants’ needs into general policy developments is helpful for including migrants in society based on equal rights.
Good co-ordination between domestic migration policy and foreign policy and humanitarian and development aid policy is also essential. In my country a co-ordination working party for information sharing and co-ordination between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry responsible for migration has been set up to ensure better coherence and consistency. Both ministries are involved in international co-operation on migration governance and in the negotiation of related agreements with other governments.
The 2030 sustainable development agenda recognizes that regular and orderly migration paves the way for social and economic development. Sustainable development requires states to set up migration management structures, including agencies to monitor, register and determine the legality of people movements. The existence of dedicated national institutions for migration management is necessary to have a meaningful international co-operation on migration.
In line with SDG 10.7 Norway will consider applying development aid to assisting other governments in strengthening their migration management capacities. Strengthened capacities will ensure an effective international co-operation on migration, for our joint efforts to manage migration to reap the benefits of regular and orderly migration.