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European Commission - Press release
European Council: The Commission will take forward and intensify the work on migration and asylum policy
Brussels, 24 June 2011 – The European Commission welcomes the conclusions adopted today by the European Council on asylum and migration issues.
"I am very pleased with the attention given by the European Council to asylum, migration, free movement of persons and border issues. Indeed these topics will shape the future of Europe and there is a need for political steer to further develop a strong common policy.
First of all, I would like to underline the political commitment to intensify the ongoing negotiations on the asylum legislative proposals, so that a Common European Asylum System can be agreed upon by 2012. Europe needs a common asylum system which is efficient but which at the same time provides effective protection for those fleeing persecution and violence. Thanks to the clear message from the European Council, I am confident that we can reach our goal within the deadline set.
The full recognition by European Leaders of the free movement of persons as a core principle of the European Union and as a fundamental right is of the utmost importance as it acknowledges the need to protect Schengen, an area without internal borders. Effective border controls are an essential pre-requisite for safeguarding the integrity of Schengen in the years ahead. The Commission will respond to the call of the European Council for an effective and reliable monitoring and evaluation system and to its invitation to make a proposal for a mechanism by September.
Finally, I welcome the European Council's commitment to launch migration dialogues with the countries of the Southern Mediterranean, dialogues which will deal with all aspects of migration, mobility and security. The Commission is determined to engage in constructive dialogues in an effort to support these countries in their transition towards democracy and to work with migration and mobility in a way that is mutually beneficial", said Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström.
Recent initiatives from the Commission on asylum and migration policy prepared the ground for discussions between EU Heads of State and Government. Following up on the European Council conclusions, the Commission will now focus on:
1- Ensuring that the Common European Asylum System is completed by 2012
The European Council sent a clear signal calling for an effective, fair and protective Common European Asylum System (CEAS) by 2012.
2- Reinforcing the management of external borders – guaranteeing the free movement of persons
It is necessary to maintain high levels of security at our external borders while making border crossing simpler for those who travel or migrate legally to the EU.
3- Promoting cooperation with third countries
The latest developments across the Mediterranean Sea call for a consistent approach and the EU should be ready to help, cooperate and offer perspectives.
On 4 May 2011, the Commission adopted a Communication on Migration which details the components of a wide ranging policy on migration, addresses the current crisis in the Southern Mediterranean and looks at migration and asylum issues in the longer term as well (IP/11/532 and MEMO/11/273).
For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs
Homepage DG Home Affairs: