Why a new European Agenda on Migration?
The EU’s external borders have increasingly been the scene of human tragedies to which the EU, together with its Member States, must take immediate action. At the same time, migration needs to be better managed in all its aspects; through this new Agenda, the EU aims at providing its Member States with tools to do so in the medium as well as long term.
Migration management is a shared responsibility, not only among EU Member States, but also vis-à-vis non-EU countries of transit and origin of migrants. By combining both internal and external policies, the Agenda provides a new, comprehensive approach grounded in mutual trust and solidarity among EU Member States and institutions.
The European Agenda on MigrationSearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN••• responds to the priorities identified in the Political Guidelines of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
What are the short term priorities of the European Agenda on Migration?
The EU aims at taking immediate action to prevent further losses of migrants’ lives at sea by providing additional funding to Frontex joint search and rescue operations, to the safe and legal resettlement of people to Europe, to the Regional Protection and Development Programmes and to the most affected Member States located at the EU’s external borders. In addition, the EU aims to strengthen the role of Europol as an intelligence hub for dismantling criminal networks and intends to launch Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations in the Mediterranean to capture and dismantle boats. The EU will also activate the emergency system provided in the Treaties so that asylum seekers may be relocated in a more solidary manner, as well as establish a pilot multi-purpose centre in Niger, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration and the UN Refugee Agency. An altogether new concept, the Hotspot, will allow EASO, Frontex and Europol to work on the ground in affected EU Member States to swiftly identify, register and fingerprint arriving migrants and to assist in investigating and dismantling migrant smuggling networks.
What are the medium to long term priorities of the European Agenda on Migration?
Migration is both an opportunity and a challenge for the EU. The medium to long term priorities consist of developing structural actions that look beyond crises and emergencies and help EU Member States to better manage all aspects of migration. The Agenda is built upon four pillars:
- Reducing the incentives for irregular migration: the focus is on addressing the root causes behind irregular migration in non-EU countries, dismantling smuggling and trafficking networks and defining actions for the better application of return policies.
- Saving lives and securing the external borders: this involves better management of the external border, in particular through solidarity towards those Member States that are located at the external borders, and improving the efficiency of border crossings.
- Strengthening the common asylum policy: with the increases in the flows of asylum seekers, the EU’s asylum policies need to be based on solidarity towards those needing international protection as well as among the EU Member States, whose full application of the common rules must be ensured through systematic monitoring.
- Developing a new policy on legal migration: in view of the future demographic challenges the EU is facing, the new policy needs to focus on attracting workers that the EU economy needs, particularly by facilitating entry and the recognition of qualifications