Refugee crisis – new proposals by the European Commission
The European Commission presented a package of proposals to address the refugee crisis
The Commission proposes to relocate 120,000 people in clear need of international protection from Italy (15,600), Greece (50,400) and Hungary (54,000). The relocation will be accompanied by 780 million of euros of the EU budget support participating Member States, including a 50% pre-financing rate to ensure that governments on national, regional and local level have the means to act very swiftly.
According to a temporary solidarity clause, if a Member State cannot temporarily participate totally or in part in a relocation decision, it will have to make a financial contribution to the EU budget of an amount of 0,002% of its GDP.
Permanent Relocation Mechanism
The Commission proposed a structured solidarity mechanism which can be triggered any time by the Commission to help any Member State experiencing a crisis situation and extreme pressure on its asylum system as a result of a large and disproportionate inflow of third country nationals. The temporary solidarity clause will also apply here.
European list of Safe Countries of Origin
The European Commission proposed a regulation to establish an EU common list of safe countries of origin. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey were added to the list, since they fulfil the common criteria of the Asylum Procedures Directive 2013/32. Other countries can be added in future by the European Commission.
The Commission presented:
- an EU Action Plan on Return, which defines the immediate and mid-term measures to be taken by Member States to enhance voluntary return, to strengthen the implementation of the Return Directive, to improve information sharing, to strengthen the role and mandate of Frontex in return operations, and to create an integrated system of return management;
- a Return Handbook which offers national competent authorities practical instructions when carrying out returns of those migrants who do not have the right to stay in the EU.
Public Procurement rules for Refugee Support Measures
The Commission presented a communication which provides guidance for national, regional and local authorities on how to ensure most immediate needs of asylum seekers for housing, supplies and services with EU law, while procuring these services in a simple, speedy and non-bureaucratic manner.
Trust Fund for Africa
The European Commission allocated 1,8 billion of euros from the EU's financial means to set up an 'Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration in Africa'. It will support the regions of the Sahel, Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa, and the North of Africa to develop better socio-economic opportunities and migration management policies.
The EU will also deepen the existing high-level dialogues on migration with key partners in order to find political solutions to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.