Explanatory Memorandum to COM(2022)112 - Amending regulations 514/2014, 516/2014 on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, crime, crisis management - Main contents
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1. CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSAL
• Reasons for and objectives of the proposal
The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022 led to a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine to several EU Member States. This places renewed pressure on the financial resources of Member States to deal with urgent migration and border management needs. While the increased migratory pressure, including reception and asylum processing procedures, is already being felt acutely in the Member States that share a land border with Ukraine, the needs are spreading further afield throughout the whole territory of the European Union and will persist beyond 2022.
The overall objective of this proposal is to support Member States to address the consequences of the war in Ukraine, by facilitating access to unspent financial resources for the 2014-2020 programming period under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 1 (“AMIF”) and the Internal Security Fund insofar as it concerns the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, 2 as well as the Internal Security Fund insofar as it concerns the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management 3 (hereinafter: the “Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020”). This proposal intends to maximise the scope of use of those funds, by extending the eligibility period and unblocking access to unspent earmarked resources, thereby avoiding the loss of unused funding due to decommitment.
On 4 March 2022, Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 was adopted establishing the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine within the meaning of Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/EC 4 , and having the effect of introducing temporary protection. This Implementing Decision clarifies (in Recital 22) that efforts of Member States to comply with the obligations deriving under it and to offer temporary protection will be supported, inter alia, by that the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund set up by Regulation (EU) 2021/1147 5 (“AMIF 2021-2027”). An extension of the implementation period of the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020 could also offer Member States additional flexibility for supporting measures undertaken in accordance with this Council Directive 2001/55/EC on minimum standards for giving temporary protection to address the mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine.
This overall flexibility is necessary in order to ensure a comprehensive approach to migration management, grounded on mutual trust, solidarity and responsibility sharing between Member States and Union institutions, to ensure a common sustainable Union policy on asylum, migration, security and border management, and to strengthen confidence in the Union’s ability to bring together European and national efforts to work in an effective way.
The purpose of this proposal is to extend, by 1 year, the implementation period of the Home Affairs Funds for 2014-2020. This extension will be achieved by amending Regulation (EU) 514/2014 of 16 April 2014 laying down general provisions on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management 6 , which sets out provisions of application to the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020. This extension will enable Member States to urgently utilise remaining funds to help address the increased pressure on their border and migration management systems arising from the invasion in Ukraine. The mass influx of persons to the EU Member States also gives rise to additional security needs, which could equally benefit from remaining funds.
Furthermore, this proposal seeks to unblock access to unspent amounts previously earmarked for certain specific purposes under the AMIF, to enable Member States to better address the increased pressure on their asylum and migration management systems stemming from the invasion of Ukraine. This access will be provided by amending Regulation (EU) 516/2014 of 16 April 2014 establishing the AMIF and laying down provisions for its use.
To enhance the scope of available funding sources to help deal with unforeseeable future events, the proposal intends to provide Member States and other public or private donors with the possibility, under the 2021-2027 programming period, to make additional financial contributions to asylum and migration management in the form of external assigned revenue. This external assigned revenue will constitute a dedicated contribution from Member States and other public or private donors to finance specific items of expenditure under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund for 2021-2027. The addition of this potential funding source will be provided by amending Regulation (EU) 2021/1147 7 establishing the AMIF and laying down provisions for its use. It will allow an added preparedness measure for funding asylum and migration activities in Member States during crises such as those arising from the invasion of Ukraine.
• Consistency with existing policy provisions in the policy area
The proposal is consistent with the overall legal framework established for the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020 and is limited to a targeted amendment of specific provisions in Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 and Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 to address the urgent and exceptional circumstances arising from the invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, the possibility to assign revenue to specific items of expenditure is provided for by Article 21(5) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 (the ‘Financial Regulation’), applicable to all EU funding in the relevant policy area 8 .
• Consistency with other Union policies
The proposal is limited to targeted amendments of Regulation (EU) 514/2014 and Regulation (EU) 516/2014 to address the urgent and exceptional circumstances arising from the invasion of Ukraine, and maintains consistency with other Union policies. Tackling the outbreak of violence in Ukraine and the ensuing refugee movements has been consistently identified as a top Union priority. The proposed approach is also consistent with the implementation cycle (‘N+3 rule’) set out in Article 136 of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 9 laying down the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Furthermore, the use of external assigned revenue is consistent with the approach used in other funding instruments where resilience and preparedness are important factors, such as Council Regulation (EU) 2020/2094 establishing a European Union Recovery Instrument to support the recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis 10
2. LEGAL BASIS, SUBSIDIARITY AND PROPORTIONALITY
• Legal basis
The legal basis for the proposed Union action can be found in the list of measures contained in Article 78(2), Article 79(2) and i, Article 82(1), Article 84 and Article 87(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the Union (TFEU). Regulation (EU) 516/2014 is based on Article 78(2), Article 79(2) and i, whereas Regulation (EU) 514/2014 is based on all of the above-mentioned provisions.
• Subsidiarity (for non-exclusive competence)
The proposal aims to support Member States to address the direct and indirect effects stemming from the invasion of the Ukraine and, in particular their increased migration and border management needs, so as to maximise the use of available EU Funds intended for related purposes. EU legislation can only be amended at Union level.
The proposal includes limited and targeted changes that do not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objective of ensuring that Member State can make utmost use of available financial resources in response to the invasion of Ukraine. This invasion has given rise to increased needs in areas, such as migration and border management, directly covered by the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020. The proposal thereby complies with the proportionality principle, and falls within the scope for action in the area of freedom, security and justice, as defined in Title V of the TFEU. The objectives and corresponding funding levels are proportional to what the instrument aims to achieve.
• Choice of the instrument
Regulation (EU) 514/2014 sets out the eligibility and implementation period of the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020 while Regulation (EU) 516/2014 sets out the specific rules on the use of resources under the AMIF for this period. In order to extend the eligibility period of the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020 and to unblock access to unspent resources under the AMIF, both Regulation (EU) 514/2014 and Regulation (EU) 516/2014 must be amended through the current Regulation. Regulation (EU) 2021/1147 establishes the AMIF for 2021-2027 and lays down provisions for its use, and in order to introduce provisions on external assigned revenue for use under the AMIF 2021-2027, Regulation (EU) 2021/1147 must also be amended through this proposal.
3. BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS
The budgetary impact is already accommodated within the budget of the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020. The objective of this proposal is to optimise the use of the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020 in the context of the mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine to EU Member States.
The budgetary impact of external assigned revenue within the budget of the AMIF 2021-2027 cannot be known in advance. Article 21(5) of the Financial Regulation provides that the budget shall include lines to accommodate external assigned revenue and internal assigned revenue and wherever possible shall indicate the amount. Assigned revenue may be included in the draft budget only for the amounts which are certain at the date of the establishment of the draft budget.