The Commission proposed new ambitious measures on migration


The President Jean-Claude Junker gave a very passionate speech on the “State of the Union” in Strasbourg, during the Plenary session of the European Parliament of the 3th of September.  The aim was to explain the status of implementation of the Commission’s programme and measures foreseen to take implementation to a further level. The speech addressed also the recent developments in the field of migration and EU migration policies.

One of the main points of the speech was to introduce in detail the actions that the Commission intends to take by the end of 2016, in addition to those presented after the presentation of the Agenda on Migration. The quite ambitious legislative agenda, presented to the President of the Parliament and to the EU Presidency, consists in three Commission Proposals.

A Commission proposal – Decision temporary relocation mechanism – Italy, Greece & Hungary
Although the Council has not adopted the previous proposal of the Commission to relocate 40.000 people in clear need of international protection from Italy and Greece, the Commission is now proposing a more ambitious decision, aiming at alleviating the migratory pressure that not only Italy, Greece are facing in the last months, but also Hungary. The new proposal foresees the relocation of 120.000 people in need of international protection, to be added to the previous proposal. In total, emergency relocation would concern 160.000 people.

Relocation from Italy would concern 15,600 people, and more people would benefit from this in Greece (50,400) and Hungary (54,000). Mandatory distribution key would again be the system to calculate how each Member State will participate in this mechanism. This key is built on objective and quantifiable criteria as the size of the population (counting for 40%), GDP (40%), the average number of past asylum applications (10%) and the unemployment rate (10%). Relocation will be accompanied by €780 million EU budget support for participating Member States, including a 50% pre-financing rate.

Interestingly, this proposal includes a solidarity clause from those countries that cannot participate in the relocation mechanism. If reasons are justified and objective, than these countries will need to make a financial contribution of 0.002% of the GDP to support relocation in other countries.

A Commission Proposal – Permanent relocation mechanism
In addition to the temporary measures, the Commission foresees also a permanent and structured measure, aiming at supporting any country that would face migration issues in the future.

A Commission Proposal – List safe countries of origin

The possibility to develop a European list of Safe Countries of Origin was already included in the legislative acts adopted in 2013, namely in the Asylum Procedures Directive. The countries included are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.  This measure reacts to the fact that Western Balkans countries nationals are one of the largest groups of asylum applicants, with a very low rate of recognition of their status of beneficiaries of international protection. The purpose of this list is to speed up the processing of asylum requests, in order to be able to address potentially successful request faster.

Other measures presented by the Commission are an Action Plan Return and a Return Handbook aiming at improving return policies, and budget allocation to support countries of origin.

You can find the full second implementation package at this link:

These documents will be discussed by the Council on the 14th of September.

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