Faced with the most serious refugee crisis after WWII, the European Union has managed to bring a radical change with respect to the management of migration and the protection of borders
Faced with the most serious refugee
crisis after WWII, the European Union has managed to bring a radical change with
respect to the management of migration and the protection of borders. However,
additional efforts are needed for the EU migration policy to be able to cope
with future challenges. Recently, the European Commission has reiterated its
call for the drafting of a common EU strategy on migration, including the
thorny issue of migrants' reception after disembarking on community space.
press release, the European Commission says migration remains a sensitive topic
in the context of the European elections, which causes fears with respect to
the growing popularity of eurosceptic parties, while the EU states remain in
diverging positions vis-à-vis the Dublin Regulation and the establishment of a
common asylum policy over different points of view with regard to the mandatory
distribution of migrant quotas among EU member states, an initiative rejected by
some east-European countries, especially those in the Visegrad Group. "Europe
is no longer experiencing the migration crisis we lived in 2015, but structural
problems remain", warns the first vice-president of the European Commission
Frans Timmermans, recalling that, in the last four years, the European Union
has seen significant progress and obtained concrete results in addressing the
challenges of migration.
"In very difficult circumstances, we acted together,"
Timmermans also said, adding: "Continuing to work together through a
comprehensive approach, in solidarity, and with a fair sharing of
responsibility, is the only way forward if the EU is to be equal to the
migration challenge." In its latest report, the Commission shows that 2018 saw
an almost 90% drop in the number of people who tried to cross the Mediterranean
Sea to reach Europe. Centralised data also show that migration to the EU via
Greece and Italy diminished, but grew via Spain, in the western part of the
The European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris
"In the Western Mediterranean,
Spain is under particular migratory pressure. We continue to stand by Spain as
we have done and will continue doing with all the Member States under pressure.
We already provided nearly 36 million euros of emergency assistance last
year and we are ready to provide Spain the technical, financial, and political
support it needs. At the same time, it is also clear that we need to strengthen
our relationship with Morocco. [...] We look forward to developing a closer,
deeper and more ambitious partnership with Morocco. This begins by completing
the implementation of the 140 million euro support package for Morocco that
focuses on improving their border management capacity."
In the last three years, the number of arrivals
has dropped constantly to reach today a figure that represents around 10% of
the maximum level reached in 2015. But this drop is not guaranteed in the
future if the migration pressure is maintained on the borders. Therefore, it is
essential to take measures for each of the four pillars of European agenda on
migration. This refers to combating the factors that favour irregular
migration, a stricter border control, protection and asylum measures, as well
as legal migration and integration.
Here is Dimitris Avramopoulus again:
"Our external borders are better
managed and better protected than ever before. The European Border and Coast
Guard Agency brought about a steep change in our common border management
culture. But we want to help and support Member States even more in securing
our external borders. [...] But no matter how secure and protected our external
borders are, Europe will still have to uphold its duty to provide assistance to
those fleeing war or persecutions. Europe will still need to better manage
migration within Europe, both of those staying legally and irregularly. For
instance, we have to be able to stop secondary movements or asylum shopping.
This is why we equally need to finalize the reform of our Common European
Asylum System. [...] I welcome that the Romanian Presidency already started
working towards putting in place such arrangements, and I count on Member
States to engage."
Moreover, the European Commission asks member states
to encourage legal migration and integration as factors of discouraging