College takes stock of progress made on the European Agenda on Migration and holds orientation debate on EU-China relations; Brexit update.
European Agenda on Migration
The Commission took stock today of progress made under the European Agenda on Migration over the past 4 years and set out the measures still required to address immediate and future migration challenges.
For 3 consecutive years, arrivals figures have been steadily falling, and current levels are a mere 10% of what they were at their peak in 2015. In 2018, around 150,000 irregular crossings were detected across EU external borders. But the fact that the number of irregular arrivals has been reduced is no guarantee for the future, considering the likely continuation of migratory pressure. It is therefore essential to pursue a comprehensive approach to migration management and border protection.
Faced with the most severe refugee crisis the world has seen since the Second World War, the EU managed to bring about a step change in migration management and border protection. The EU has offered protection and support to millions, saved lives, dismantled smuggling networks and brought irregular arrivals to Europe down to the lowest level recorded in 5 years. Nevertheless, more work is needed to make the EU's migration policy truly future-proof in view of a constantly evolving geopolitical context and a steady rise in migratory pressure on a global scale. The Commission listed the most pressing issues that require further work.
Commissioners held an orientation debate on the opportunities and challenges of EU-China relations in the run-up to the European Council of 21-22 March and the EU-China Summit on 9 April.
On Brexit, Michel Barnier, the Commission's Chief Negotiator for Article 50 negotiations, informed Commissioners that - while the talks take place in a constructive atmosphere – discussions have been difficult.
It was underlined that no solution has been identified at this point that is consistent with the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, which will not be reopened.
Senior management appointment
The European Commission appointed Ms Veronica Gaffey as Chair of its Regulatory Scrutiny Board – the body that ensures the quality and relevance of all new legislative proposals.
With today's appointment, the European Commission remains well on track to achieve the target of at least 40% women on middle and senior management positions by November 2019. Women currently represent 39.6% of all managers in the Commission.
Communication – Report on the Implementation of the European Agenda on Migration
Factsheet: Facts matter: Debunking myths about migration
Factsheet: Migration: Immediate measures needed
Factsheet – EU Actions along the Western Mediterranean Route
Factsheet – EU Actions along the Central Mediterranean Route
6 March 2019