EU Response to Mediterranean Migration Crisis
The European Commission has published details of ten immediate actions it intends to take in response to the migration crisis situation in the Mediterranean.
"We need to show that same collective European sense of urgency we have consistently shown in reacting in times of crisis. The dire situation in the Mediterranean is not a new nor a passing reality,” explained High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in a joint statement. “That is why the Commission will come forward with a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration in May to address the structural problems.”
“The ten actions we have agreed upon today are the direct, substantial measures we will take to make an immediate difference,” they added. “All of these actions require our common effort, the European institutions and the 28 Member States.”
The ten action points are:
- Reinforce the Joint Operations in the Mediterranean, namely Triton and Poseidon, by increasing the financial resources and the number of assets. Their operational areas will also be extended, allowing further intervention within the mandate of Frontex;
- A systematic effort to capture and destroy vessels used by the smugglers;
- EUROPOL, FRONTEX, EASO and EUROJUST will meet regularly and work closely to gather information on smugglers' modus operandi, to trace their funds and to assist in their investigation;
- EASO to deploy teams in Italy and Greece for joint processing of asylum applications;
- Member States to ensure fingerprinting of all migrants;
- Consider options for an emergency relocation mechanism;
- A EU wide voluntary pilot project on resettlement, offering a number of places to persons in need of protection;
- Establish a new return programme for the rapid return of irregular migrants coordinated by Frontex from frontline Member States;
- Engagement with countries surrounding Libya through a joined effort between the Commission and the EEAS; initiatives in Niger have to be stepped up.
- Deploy Immigration Liaison Officers in key third countries, to gather intelligence on migratory flows and strengthen the role of the EU Delegations.
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