Active contacts between Russia and the EU Member States, changes on labour markets and in social and economic sphere, aggravation of problems linked to illegal migration and growing number of refugees make cooperation between Russia and the EU on matters of management of migration flows necessary. That is why migration sphere remains a priority area of Russia-EU cooperation within the Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice.
The signing in 2006 of the Agreement on Readmission (i.e. admitting back persons illegally staying in the territory of one country to the country where they arrived from) which entered into force on 1 June 2007, became a significant step in respect of combating illegal migration. As of 1 June 2010 the readmission procedure applies also to nationals of third countries and stateless persons. In order to effectively implement the Agreement, Russia and most of EU Member States signed relevant bilateral Implementing Protocols. Within the Russia-EU Joint Committee on readmission the Parties adopt recommendations for practical implementation of the Agreement. The 17th meeting of the Joint Committee took place on 4 October 2017 in Brussels.
In May 2011, Russia and the EU launched a Dialogue on Migration. The Dialogue provides for an exchange of views on legal migration, asylum and other forms of international protection, as well as discussing approaches to combating illegal migration and trafficking in human beings. To foster their interaction within the Dialogue the Parties hold regular expert sessions on issues of common interest are held. The most recent meeting in this format dedicated to issues of combating illegal migration took place on 4-5 April 2018 in Sofia.
The Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation and the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency as of today) established contacts in 2006.