Looking at the migration/refugee crisis, the College of Commissioners looked back at measures taken in 2015 and the initiatives to be presented in 2016 to further develop collective European action and deliver clear and tangible results.
During the first six months of 2016, the Dutch Presidency will work on the priorities agreed with Slovakia and Malta in an 18 month trio programme setting long-term goals for the period January 2016-June 2017.
The European Council on 17-18 December 2015 agreed to speed up actions on the operation of hotspots, the implementation of relocation decisions and returns, the control of external borders and cooperation with third countries.
The Commission is proposing to establish a European Border and Coast Guard and also to introduce systematic checks against relevant databases for all people entering and exiting the Schengen area.
The conference of the Belgian National Contact Point to the EMN– which took place on 4 December in Brussels – focused on challenges and opportunities associated with the return of irregular and vulnerable migrants.
Justice and Home Affairs Ministers met in Brussels to discuss how to strengthen the following measures, inter alia: EU Passenger Name Record Directive, controls of external borders, information sharing and law enforcement cooperation.
On 11-12 November, the Valletta summit on migration brought together European and African Heads of State and Government in an effort to strengthen cooperation and address the current challenges but also the opportunities of migration.
Home Affairs Ministers focused in particular on speeding up the relocation process, strengthening the EU's external borders, fighting human trafficking and smuggling, and return and readmission.
Between 2014 and 2020, the EU will support Niger through the Emergency Trust Fund, inter alia to better manage migration flows, through improved border management and increased support to fight against trafficking and smuggling networks.
On 3rd of November 2015, the General Policy Note on Asylum and Migration of the State Secretary for Asylum Policy and Migration was published. It defines the main orientations and actions to be taken in the field of asylum and migration in 2016.
Myria's first edition of its newsletter "Myriatics" provides useful figures and facts on the current refugee crisis, to facilitate a better understanding of the global context and the situation in the EU and Belgium.
On the 7th October 2015, the EMN Annual Conference took place in Esch-Belval (Luxembourg). It was dedicated to the 30 years of the Schengen Agreement, as well as to the current challenges to the system regarding border management and irregular migration.