Commission discusses legal issues in Hungary, adopts Communication on Children in Migration, reviews relocation progress and reports on Security Union.
The College of Commissioners held a debate today on recent developments in Hungary which have raised concerns about compatibility with EU law and the common values on which the Union is based.
The College discussed the Hungarian Higher Education Act, a draft law concerning foreign funding of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the 'Stop Brussels' national consultation, and ongoing legal concerns in the fields of asylum and non-discrimination. The College agreed to take forward individual infringement cases at the end of April. The Commission will also swiftly complete a thorough legal assessment of the Higher Education law and decide on next steps. On the draft law on 'foreign' NGO funding, the Commission will closely monitor the process and will review it after an analysis of the legal issues at stake. Finally, with regards to the 'Stop Brussels' consultation, the Commission decided to prepare and make public its own response.
The issues discussed relate to the respect of Union law and the respect of the Union's common values as enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. Taken cumulatively, the overall situation in Hungary is a cause of concern for the Commission. The College therefore agreed to start a political dialogue with the Hungarian authorities, the other Member States and the European Parliament.
Over the past two years, a growing number of children in migration have arrived in the EU, many of them without their families. While EU and Member States' legislation provide a solid framework for protection, the recent surge in arrivals has put national systems under pressure and exposed gaps and shortcomings. This is why the Commission set out today a series of actions in a dedicated Communication on Children in Migration to reinforce protection at all stages of the process. Child protection is a central priority in the European Agenda on Migration and the Commission will continue to support Member States' efforts through training, guidance, operational support and funding.
The Commission also adopted today its eleventh progress report on the EU's emergency relocation and resettlement scheme. Member States have made steady progress, setting a new monthly record, with the total number of relocations now standing at 16,340. However, more efforts are needed from all Member States to ensure that all people eligible are relocated over the coming months. On resettlement, Member States have continued to make significant progress, with safe and legal pathways being provided to 15,492 persons so far. Today's report includes targeted recommendations for Member States to help improve the relocation and the resettlement process.
Finally, the Commission presented its sixth report on progress made towards an effective and genuine Security Union. The report outlines the implementation of priority files in the area of security. It also sets out the Commission's view on future EU priorities to combat serious and organised crime and identifies eight specific threats, namely (1) cybercrime, (2) drugs crime, (3) migrant smuggling, (4) organised property crime, (5) trafficking in human beings, (6) firearms trafficking, (7) VAT fraud and (8) environmental crime. These priorities should feed into the new EU Policy Cycle for 2018-2020 to ensure effective cooperation between Member States in addressing the most pressing criminal threats facing the EU.
Daily news 12 April 2017
Press release - Protecting all children in migration: Commission outlines priority actions
Communication: The protection of children in migration
Commission Staff Working Document: Implementing the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (2010-2014)
Questions & Answers: Protecting Children in Migration
Factsheet: Actions for the protection of children in migration
Press release - Relocation and Resettlement: Steady progress made but more efforts needed to meet targets
Communication: Eleventh Report on Relocation and Resettlement
Annex 1: Relocations from Greece
Annex 2: Relocations from Italy
Annex 3: Relocations from Italy and Greece
Annex 4: Resettlement State of Play
FACTSHEET: Relocation and Resettlement
FACTSHEET: Managing the refugee crisis: EU financial support to Greece
Read-out of the College meeting of 12 April 2017 by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans
Press conference by Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner Věra Jourová - Communication outlining priority actions to reinforce the protection of all children in migration and the 11th report on relocation and resettlement
12 April 2017