Von der Leyen urges EU states to step up on migration – EURACTIV.com


Migration continues to be a crucial concern for the bloc and one the place residents count on a robust response, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen urged heads of state in a letter on Thursday (26 January) forward of a vital leaders’ summit subsequent month.

Within the letter, seen by EURACTIV, Von der Leyen requested EU governments to work collectively to strengthen controls on the EU’s exterior borders together with return procedures, lowering incentives for secondary motion and selling efficient solidarity.

EU Fee chief believes these are measures that may be instantly applied whereas EU establishments are working to create a framework of migration insurance policies.

“The EU noticed a serious rise in irregular arrivals on routes throughout the Mediterranean and Western Balkans, the very best figures since 2016. Migration administration can be excessive on the listing of points the place residents count on a robust EU response,” stated Von der Leyen within the letter.

Based on the most recent knowledge from the EU borders and coast guard company Frontex, round 330,000 irregular border crossings had been detected on the EU’s exterior border in 2022, “a rise of 64% from the earlier yr,” a press launch shared with the media acknowledged.

Moreover, a complete of 924,000 asylum functions had been made throughout the EU27 final yr, 3 times greater than the variety of irregular arrivals, with most circumstances in Germany, France, Spain and Austria.

In the meantime, capacities have been additional stretched by 4 million Ukrainian refugees at present being hosted within the EU.

“The crucial of agreeing on a structural answer doesn’t imply that we can’t act now”, she added, launching a set of proposals to member states that will likely be underneath dialogue on the subsequent EU Summit in early February.

The draft conclusions for the EU summit, seen by EURACTIV, state that “swift motion is required to make sure efficient returns from the European Union to international locations of origin utilizing as leverage all related EU insurance policies, devices and instruments, together with improvement, commerce and visas in addition to alternatives for authorized migration, similar to Expertise Partnerships.”

The letter from the Fee president urges nationwide authorities to work collectively to deal with abuses of the system the place candidates with asylum in a single member state apply in one other. 

She additionally asks governments to deal with “delays and gaps in border and return procedures”, scale back incentives for secondary actions, and use the Voluntary Relocation Mechanism to assist frontline international locations. 

The letter additionally stresses the significance of brokering new agreements with third international locations “to enhance migration and return administration”.

She harassed the significance of concluding the so-called roadmap, a set of legislative recordsdata on migration that the EU establishments have dedicated to finalising earlier than the following EU elections in Spring 2024.

These included the Pact on Migration and Asylum, on which there was “good progress”, wrote the  Fee president.

Related factors had been touched upon by the Swedish Presidency throughout a press convention on Thursday after the primary day of the Justice and House Affairs Council assembly.

“We began off the discussions with a working session on migration and asylum, withfocus on lowering the stress of unlawful migration to the EU by means of efficient cooperation with international locations on return,” stated Swedish Minister for Migration Maria Malmer Stenergard in the course of the press convention.

“Guaranteeing efficient return or irregular migrants is important to guarantee the credibility of EU insurance policies in the subject of worldwide safety and authorized migration,” she added.

Earlier this week, the EU govt unveiled a brand new technique to extend migrant returns, which asks governments to make sure that a return determination ought to instantly observe a choice ending a keep.

[Edited by Alice Taylor]

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