The EESC has produced a large body of work on the immigration issue in the EU, mainly through the SOC Section. The aim of the present opinion is to explore the subject from the angle of the EU's relations with third countries taking into account global trends in migratory flows. The opinion will explore in what way migration issues can be integrated and mainstreamed into the EU's external relations policies, drawing on policy instruments such as mobility and migration agreements, development policy and trade. It will also examine how the EU can manage immigration better in order to benefit from increased mobility that a globalised world affords and which the EU's competitors are already taking advantage of in their migration policies.
A key question of course remains how the EU will coordinate its internal immigration policies in the future in order to deal with the challenges and opportunities that increased engagement with migration issues on the external relations scene will produce.