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Statement in reaction to the Court of Auditors' report "EU external migration spending in Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Neighbourhood countries until 2014"

The Commission wishes to clarify that the Court's report looks at a very limited sample of 23 old migration projects in six neighbouring countries, which were launched as of 2007 and concluded by 2014. These projects predate the current migration crisis and none of them are relevant to the current crisis. The report is not about EU migration policies nor is it an analysis of how the Commission is dealing with the current crisis.

The Commission feels obliged to make this clarifying statement in reaction to the press materials published by the Court. The Commission regrets these materials do not reflect the actual content of the report and are therefore misleading. They give the impression that the audit had a wider scope and could be related to the current refugee crisis, as well as current asylum and migration policies. In fact the audit field work was finalised in September 2014, i.e. several months before the refugee crisis started, and did not cover Syria, refugee camps, hot spots, etc.

The Commission was able to clarify a number of the assertions and conclusions in the draft report, which was accepted and understood by the full Court of Auditors' chamber. The Court has acknowledged the need to update its audit by launching a new audit on "EU's response to the refugee crisis". The Commission and the Court are co-operating well on this, with the common objective to better support the implementation of EU policies.

The Commission wishes to recall that since the start of this Commission's mandate, and very concretely over the last year, the EU has stepped up its efforts: European Agenda for Migration is one of the top 10 Commission priorities. At the same time, in response to the current refugee crisis, we have reoriented and mobilised all external action instruments, with the objective to save lives, ensure protection to those in need and manage borders and mobility.

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Last update: 17/03/2016