Delivering on the European Agenda on Migration from May, the European Commission is putting forward a comprehensive package of proposals which will help address the refugee crisis that EU Member States and neighbouring countries are facing, including tackling the root causes making people seek refuge in Europe. The new set of measures will alleviate pressure from Member States most affected - notably Greece, Italy and Hungary - by proposing to relocate 120,000 people in clear need of international protection to other EU Member States.
This number will be on top of the 40,000 that the Commission proposed in May to relocate from Greece and Italy and for which the decision by the Council is still to be adopted. Today's measures will also help those Member States faced with a growing number of asylum applications by enabling a swifter processing of asylum applications though a common European list of safe countries of origin. Finally, the Commission is also addressing the 'external dimension' of the refugee crisis, outlining the main actions for making return policy more effective and proposing a €1.8 billion Trust Fund to help tackle the root causes for migration in Africa.
High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini i stated in the European Parliament: "We all know there is no magic, quick fix to the crises we have around us. All measures we are taking will deliver results in the medium and long term. Still, we must act now. I know it is hard for politicians to explain actions that will pay back in years, but if we don’t do that responsibly, the generations coming after ours will face the same problems again and again. Let me say our external action finds us united, for once. This is not enough, we must find unity on our internal policies too. But it is crucial."
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker i said: "Europe is a continent where nearly everyone has at one time been a refugee. We Europeans should know and should never forget why giving refuge and complying with the fundamental right to asylum is so important. It is time we started putting in place the building blocks of a truly European migration policy, as we called for back in May. The measures we are proposing today will ensure that people in clear need of international protection are relocated swiftly after arriving - not just now but also for any crisis in the future. If ever European solidarity needed to manifest itself, it is on the question of the refugee crisis. It is time to show collective courage and deliver this European response now.”
The European Commission has presented concrete measures to respond to the current refugee crisis and to prepare for future challenges which consists in an emergency relocation proposal for 120,000 refugees from Greece, Hungary and Italy, a Permanent Relocation Mechanism for all Member States and a temporary solidarity clause.
Read the details of the package on the full press release:
Watch High Representative Mogherini address to the European Parliament:
The European Commission has been consistently and continuously working for a coordinated European response on the refugees and migration front:
On 13 May 2015, the European Commission presented its European Agenda on Migration, setting out a comprehensive approach for improving the management of migration in all its aspects.
On 27 May 2015, the European Commission already came forward with a first package of implementing measures of the European Agenda on Migration, including relocation and resettlement proposals, and an EU Action plan against migrant smugglers.
On 25-26 June, the European Council agreed to move forward on the proposals made by the European Commission in the European Agenda on Migration, focusing on relocation and resettlement, returns and cooperation with countries of origin and transit.
On 20 July, the Justice and Home Affairs Council agreed to implement the measures as proposed in the European Agenda on Migration, notably to relocate people in clear need of international protection from Italy and Greece over the next two years, starting with 32,256 in a first step, and to resettle 22,504 displaced persons in clear need of international protection from outside the EU.
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