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European Agenda on Migration

Work has begun in the European Commission on developing a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration, with a first orientation debate taking place on key actions to step up the EU’s efforts to implement the existing tools and cooperation in managing migration flows from third countries.

The debate has set out the four main areas where actions is required in the European Agenda on Migration to implement the political guidelines of President Juncker. These are all mutually linked and equally important, says the Commission, and involve:

  • A strong Common Asylum System. The Commission intends to work on making existing divergences in national asylum policy practices disappear. Deepening the cooperation with third countries will also be essential to address the root causes of migration, as well as mainstreaming migration into the design of development strategies.
  • A new European policy on legal migration. Whilst addressing existing unemployment, Europe will have to attract the right talent to be more competitive at a global level. The Commission recognises that this is a long-term effort and will begin by launching a review of the EU Blue Card Directive
  • Fighting irregular migration and human trafficking more robustly. The Commission is working towards a comprehensive set of actions against human smuggling, and wants to further develop concrete tools targeting priority countries and routes, in close collaboration with third countries, also through existing readmission agreements and cooperation frameworks.
  • Securing Europe’s external borders. The preparation of the European Agenda on Migration will be an opportunity to discuss whether and to what extent EU’s Border Agency Frontex needs a budget increase, and more operational assets and human resources to better address the evolving challenge at the EU’s external borders.

“Migration is about people – behind each face arriving at our borders, there is an individual: a businessperson travelling to work, a student coming to study, a victim of people-traffickers, a parent trying to get their children to safety,” explained Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. “When presenting a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration we have to think about all dimensions of migration – this is not about quick fixes; this is about creating a more secure, prosperous and attractive European Union.”

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