The EPP Group supports the first Draft Amending Budget of the year (DAB 1/2016) which authorises the first tranche of the annual allocation to build the €700 million package over three years. This allows immediate humanitarian assistance for refugees within the European Union and reinforces the staffing levels of Europol's European Counter-Terrorism Centre, a central information hub in the fight against terrorism in the EU.
"There is a humanitarian emergency that requires urgent action and Greece cannot afford to tackle refugees alone", said the EPP Group Rapporteur on 'The new instrument to provide emergency support within the Union', José Manuel Fernandes MEP. Nevertheless, Fernandes finds it "incomprehensible that the EU has, so far, had no instrument for humanitarian emergencies within the EU, but only for outside its borders."
Fernandes, also the EPP Group Spokesman on Budgets, called for the possibility to have the new instrument ready to use whenever necessary: "This instrument should not be limited to three years. It should be a fund based on a regulation that would be triggered whenever a humanitarian emergency occurs. Its funding should be additional and extraordinary, above the Multiannual Financial Framework ceilings, as is the European Union Solidarity Fund", he continued.
Regarding the increase in the staffing of the recently-created European Counter-Terrorism Centre, José Manuel Fernandes concluded: "The increase of an additional €2 million for Europol underlines the importance of boosting information-sharing and operational coordination in the EU's fight against terrorism."
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 215 Members from 27 Member States
The DAB 1/2016 creates the budget structure for this new instrument and to make available €100 million for immediate funding needs. A separate tranche of €200 million is expected later this year. Two other €200 million contributions are expected in 2017 and 2018, completing the €700 million package for the new instrument to provide emergency support within the Union.
The European Counter-Terrorism Centre was established in Europol, the EU's law enforcement agency, on 1 January 2016 and it is the central information hub in the fight against terrorism in the EU, which provides analysis for ongoing investigations and contributes to a coordinated reaction in the event of major terrorist attack.