Migration and Home Affairs

State of play: European Agenda on Migration

The Commission has today adopted a Communication to the European Council describing the State of Play of the implementation of the priority actions under the European Agenda on Migration.

Concerning operational measures, the Communication mentions the progress made on the hotspots in Greece and Italy, the first relocations of asylum seekers, as well as return flights for irregular migrants with no right to stay. It also talks about preparations for resettlement of people in need of international protection directly from third countries. The first Syrian refugees have already been resettled to Italy, the Czech Republic and Liechtenstein.

Member States are asked to send national experts to support the work in the hotspots, notify the Commission of their reception capacities, and identify the national contact points for relocations with Greece and Italy as well as for resettlement.

In terms of budgetary support, the Commission has already proposed amendments to its 2015 and 2016 budgets, boosting the resources devoted to the refugee crisis by €1.7 billion. This means that the Commission will spend €9.2 billion in total on the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016. Member States must now deploy national spending to match. The Commission is still waiting for a large number of Member States to match EU funding for the UNHCR, World Food Programme, the EU Regional Trust Fund for Syria and the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

Member States must also ensure proper implementation of EU law. The Common European Asylum System is based on helping people in need of international protection and returning migrants who have no right to stay on EU territory. These rules have to be properly applied. The Commission has not yet received replies to the 40 letters it sent to Member States in September, in addition to the 34 already pending cases, on potential or actual infringements of EU asylum legislation on 23 September.

The Commission is also working intensely with Greece to ensure that its reception capacities are improved, and that conditions will be met for the reinstatement of Dublin transfers to Greece. Regarding the temporary reintroduction of border controls by Germany, Austria and Slovenia, the Commission will continue to closely monitor the situation, and believes that full implementation of the priority actions will allow a return to a fully functioning Schengen system in the months to come.

The external dimension is key to tackling the root causes of current migratory and refugee flows to the EU. Additional financing and diplomatic efforts are part of the solution.

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Wednesday, 14 October, 2015