In view of next week's European Council, the Commission is today reporting on the implementation of the priority actions under the European Agenda for Migration and highlighting key areas where immediate action is needed to restore control.
The most severe refugee crisis since the Second World War, with over 60 million refugees or internally displaced people across the globe, requires a radical strengthening of the EU migration system and a coordinated European response. While a reduction in flows is highly desirable in view of often overwhelmed national and local authorities, there should be no illusions that the refugee crisis will end before its root causes – instability, war and terror in Europe’s immediate neighbourhood, notably continued war and atrocities in Syria – are addressed in a definite manner.
Over the last six months, the European Commission has worked for a swift, coordinated European response, tabling a series of proposals designed to equip Member States with the tools necessary to better manage the large number of arrivals. From tripling the presence at sea; through a new system of emergency solidarity to relocate asylum seekers from the most affected countries; via an unprecedented mobilisation of the EU budget of over €10 billion to address the refugee crisis and assist the countries most affected; providing a new coordination and cooperation framework for the Western Balkan countries; starting a new partnership with Turkey; all the way to an ambitious proposal for a new European Border and Coast Guard, the European Union is bolstering Europe's asylum and migration policy to deal with the new challenges it is facing. However, while important building blocks have been put in place, full implementation on the ground has been lacking. It is clear that much more needs to be done to achieve a sustainable system of migration management.