Presentation of the European Agenda on Migration by Commissioner Avramopoulos

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13 May 2015
  • Αβραμόπουλος Avramopoulos
  • Αβραμόπουλος Avramopoulos
  • Αβραμόπουλος Avramopoulos
  • Αβραμόπουλος Avramopoulos
  • Αβραμόπουλος Avramopoulos

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am particularly pleased to present today's European Agenda on Migration. After the hard work of the last few months, we are finally in a position to present a complete package for Europe's migration policy.

The Agenda responds concretely to the immediate need to save lives and assists frontline countries with bold actions. This is not about opening or closing borders, because both are unrealistic.

Capitalizing on our experience, we are responding to citizens' concerns with a comprehensive approach.

On the one hand, we are reinforcing the Frontex operations, Triton and Poseidon.

We will support transit countries such as Jordan, Turkey, which are bearing the brunt of displaced refugees, or Niger, to dry up the source for migrant smugglers networks in Libya.

To fight smuggling, we will adopt measures to step up the prevention of their criminal activities, to disrupt them, to bring the perpetrators to justice and to seize their assets.

We will strengthen Frontex so that migrants, who have no right to stay on European soil, will be repatriated. We need to be firm.

On the other hand to enforce solidarity, we are mobilising an additional 60 million euro in emergency funding to support Frontline Member States.

We will propose the triggering of the emergency mechanism to organise a fair relocation of asylum seekers from the Member States under pressure to other Member States based on a distribution key.

One more crucial element of our emergency response is the resettlement scheme. With the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, we want to bring safely and legally to the EU territory 20.000 refugees from third countries, and we will finance this action with 50 million euros.

For implementing relocation and resettlement, we have developed a distribution key based on objective, quantifiable and verifiable criteria.

These criteria are: the size of the population and the total GDP, the number of the asylum applications and persons already resettled, and the unemployment rate.

So, as you can see, the Agenda strikes the right balance between fighting smuggling and addressing the root causes of migration and protecting the refugees. Now we need to start implementing these actions.

Given the urgency of the situation, the Commission will already adopt by the end of May a recommendation for a resettlement scheme, a legislative proposal to trigger an emergency relocation mechanism within the EU, an Action Plan on smuggling, guidance on fingerprinting and provide information on new Triton operational plan. We will also launch a public consultation on the Blue Card. Moreover, together with Federica, we will intensify our contacts with third countries to address the root causes of migration.

In a spirit of greater solidarity, we determined to implement this comprehensive approach, which will improve significantly the management of migration in Europe.

But we all need to work together to make it happen. The Commission has exercised fully its power of initiative and is already mobilising all its resources to implement these actions. Nevertheless, not everything depends on us. It is a shared responsibility. I sincerely hope that the Member States will do their part to make this Agenda a reality.

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