Main actions against the crisis in 2015 and the way forward in 2016
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.
In a press release today, the Commission recalled main actions taken in 2015 to manage migratory pressures, including:
- A European Agenda on Migration was presented on 13 May 2015, and the first implementation package of the agenda (including proposals for relocation of 40.000 persons from Greece and Italy, resettlement of 20.000 persons from outside the EU, an EU Action Plan against smuggling and a tripling of the budget and assets used in search and rescue operations at sea) was released on 27 May and the second package (including proposals for the relocation of 120.000 asylum seekers from Member States under particular pressure, a permanent crisis relocation mechanism, a European list of safe countries of origin, an Action Plan on return and a Return Handbook, and a proposal for setting up a Trust Fund for Africa) on 9 September.
- Amendments were made to 2015 and 2016 budgets, boosting the resources devoted to the crisis.
- Measures were taken with third country partners, including a 17-point Action Plan on the Western Balkans route, a Joint Action Plan with Turkey, actions to be implemented by the governments from the EU and Africa.
- A "Borders Package" was presented on 15 December 2015 and a European Border and Coast Guard was also proposed.
As to 2016, the Commission outlines further efforts to be made in the following fields:
- on relocation (only 272 out of 160.000 have been relocated)
- on resettlement (only 779 persons have been effectively resettled last year)
- on hotspots (only 1 hotspot area is fully operational in Greece and 2 in Italy)
- on return (increasing the rate of return)
- on Schengen (returning to the normal functioning of Schengen)
- on the European Border and Coast Guard (oncluding negotiations)
The Commission will also set out a reform of the Dublin system, prepare a package of measures on legal migration and on integration. The Commission will present a further package on migrant smuggling. Finally partnerships with key countries of origin, transit and destination will continue to be focus.
Please visit the website of the European Commission for further information and background documents.