The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Banking Federation (EBF) have joined forces to organise in Paris, on 22 and 23 March 2007, the second FEMIP Conference, which will focus on the issue of financial transfers from migrant workers in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

This event is characterised by the fact that it will involve the Euro-Mediterranean banking sector in the discussions on this subject, where little work has been done as yet insofar as migrants' flows from Europe to the Mediterranean are concerned. The framework for the discussions will be provided by the study conducted by the FEMIP Trust Fund in March 2006, which highlighted two things: the extent of the total transfers (nearly EUR 8 billion is "officially" transferred every year - some EUR 15 billion if informal transfers are taken into account) and the high cost of the methods of transfer used, which penalises the people concerned.

Bringing together some 250 participants and 20 or so figures from the banking and financial sector, the supervisory authorities, experts and representatives of the migrant communities, the 2007 FEMIP Conference will provide a forum for exchanging experiences and making specific recommendations on the following topics:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the economic impact of migration
  • Facilitating migrants' financial transfers
  • Developing the role of the banking sector
  • Examining the regulatory, foreign exchange and payment systems aspects
  • Stepping up action for development: micro-finance, mortgage products and securitisation.

At its meeting in Tunis (25 and 26 June 2006), the FEMIP Council, composed of the Finance Ministers of the 35 Barcelona Partnership countries, called for Conferences aimed at providing a better understanding of economic and social development mechanisms in the Euro-Mediterranean region to be organised on a regular basis. Coming after the first FEMIP Conference - on the theme of regional integration through transport networks - held in Monaco in November 2006, this new series of FEMIP events is aimed at bringing together all those involved in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (institutional, economic, financial, academic and social participants) so that they can share experiences, raise levels of awareness and make specific suggestions for action.

Thus the FEMIP Conferences underpin action by FEMIP to place the knowledge-based partnership at the heart of the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue, complementing its financial operations and the institutional dialogue that it fosters through the FEMIP Ministerial Council and Steering Committee meetings.