EU Eyes Solidarity on Migration and External Borders

EUIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

The European Commission has presented three new proposals to ensure full EU solidarity on migration and better protection of Europe’s external borders on September 12, 2018.

“We cannot continue to squabble to find ad-hoc solutions each time a new ship arrives. Temporary solidarity is not good enough. We need lasting solidarity – today and forever more,” Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said.

The new initiatives were presented one week ahead of the Informal Meeting in Salzburg and constitute a concrete contribution to the discussions that EU Leaders are expected to have on migration.

They are intended to facilitate an overall compromise on the ongoing reform of the EU’s asylum system. Today’s proposals set a new level of ambition for the European Border and Coast Guard and the EU’s Agency for Asylum, reinforcing both to ensure that Member States can rely on full EU operational support at all times.

The Commission is also proposing to improve the effectiveness of return procedures, updating existing EU rules on return, and setting out the next steps on legal migration, an essential component of a balanced migration policy.

“The European Border and Coast Guard’s new operational arm of 10,000 EU staff and a reinforced EU Asylum Agency will ensure EU solidarity is effectively delivered on the ground – whenever and wherever needed. We are providing Member States with the necessary tools to agree on the overall reform of the EU’s asylum system and strike the right balance between solidarity and responsibility. It is now high time they deliver on this commitment,” First Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, said.

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