The European Parliament voted today on a post-2020 budget for EU migration management. The European Commission proposed to allocate 2.6 times more money for a common migration and asylum policy after 2020 compared to the current period. However, the effectiveness and efficiency of the common migration policy could be undermined by the proposed changes by the Left.
Jeroen Lenaers MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on the new Asylum and Migration Fund, stated: “We need a flexible fund to provide targeted spending based on future developments. Cooperation with third countries of origin and transit could play an important role towards a solution. Therefore, I strongly condemn the provisions supported by the Left to limit spending in or in relation to third countries to only 5% of the total spending. Under the current budget (2014-2020), third country funding will already strongly exceed 5%. Therefore, applying a budgetary cap on cooperation with third countries for the future fund is highly irresponsible and will paralyse our possibilities towards effective cooperation.”
The financial envelope will be used to support actions needed in the area of asylum, legal migration, integration, countering irregular migration including ensuring returns, and to ensure solidarity between the Member States. Lenaers criticised the fact that in the currently proposed changes to the legislation, the balance is lost by only focusing on legal migration and giving too little attention to countering illegal migration and ensuring returns.
“We have been at the forefront of demanding more money for security, border protection and fighting traffickers. We therefore clearly supported the Commission’s proposals to significantly increase border management, internal security and asylum and migration management funds. However, one of the most important challenges the EU currently faces is to improve the return of illegal migrants to their country of origin. Currently, we only manage to return less than 40% of those who do not have the right to stay in the EU. If we want to have a credible European asylum and migration policy, increasing this number needs to be our priority.”
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States