The European Council has reached a partial position on future funding for border control, security and migration measures across the EU.
The migration policy funding proposals, which fall under the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, cover three developments:
- The asylum and migration fund, to be allocated to Member States to support their management of issues pertaining to migration and asylum issues;
- The instrument for financial support for border management and visas, aimed at strengthening integrated border management along the external borders of the EU – this proposal takes into account recent developments in the sector, including the revised common visa policy, the expansion of the European Border and Coast Guard and the introduction of large scale technologies; and
- The internal security fund, supporting the law enforcement and judicial authorities of Member States in co-ordinating action, continuing development of counterterrorism initiatives, addressing organised crime and working to prevent cybercrime.
The migration policy funding proposals represent a wider scope of support than the European Commission’s initial recommendations, expanding the list of eligible measures and recommending additional funding for high priority areas such as the ongoing fight against cybercrime and implementing EU-wide IT systems.
The Council separately agreed on a partial position for the revision of the EU’s return directive, covering the return of irregular migrants from third countries either to their country of origin or – where security is a prevailing concern – to another, safe third country. The proposals aim to streamline the returns procedure, minimise the risk of absconding and implement dedicated programmes for voluntary returns; while ensuring the fundamental rights of migrants subjected to return are protected.
Carmen Daniela Dan, Romanian minister of internal affairs, said: “Improving the effectiveness of returns is a fundamental part of a comprehensive migration policy. It is the best way to break the business model of smugglers and show that putting your life in their hands is not a ticket to Europe.”