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European Commission - Fact Sheet

Questions and Answers: additional funding to address the refugee crisis

Brussels, 30 September 2015

Questions and Answers - additional funding to address the refugee crisis

The Commission announced an additional €801 million euro for the refugee crisis last week. Why is this figure not in the Draft Amending Budget?

The Draft Amending Budget is the instrument by which the Commission proposes amendments to the already agreed 2015 budget. The changes must now be agreed by the European Parliament and the Council. These changes reflect the emerging policy challenges, and ensure that the budget responds very quickly and flexibly to the current political priorities of the European Union.

The amendments announced today, known as Draft Amending Budget 7/2015, foresee a total of €401.3 million for the refugee crisis, of which €330.7 million are in additional commitments, while €70.6 million come from redeployment of resources from other budgetary programmes. This means money, originally budgeted for other purposes, will now be used to tackle the refugee crisis.

The reason that we do not need to amend the budget for the other €400 million out of the €801.3 million, is that this money was originally foreseen in reserves or for measures in similar areas of activity which will now be used to tackle the refugee crisis specifically.

Could you provide a breakdown of the measures in the Draft Amending Budget 7?

The Draft Amending Budget proposed today foresees:

  • €100 million for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF) for emergency assistance to the most affected Member States in 2015;
  • €1.3 million to increase the funding for the three relevant EU agencies to cover 60 additional staff for FRONTEX, 30 additional staff for EASO and 30 additional staff for Europol, for 2015.
  • €300 million to reinforce the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) to allow for an increase of the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis and to provide assistance to third countries hosting refugees from Syria in 2015.

Where will those 'new' €401.3 million come from?

Of the €401.3 million mentioned above, €70.6 million come from redeployments from other programmes and actions:

  • €7.4 million from European Agriculture Guarantee fund (EAGF) and Rural development fund);
  • €2 million from European Maritime & Fisheries fund;
  • €15.5 million from Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements;
  • €12 million from Food & Feed programme; and
  • €33.7 million from European Union Solidarity fund.

The remaining €330.7 million are additional commitments, which will be made in 2015 but primarily paid in 2016.

They will therefore be included in the 2016 budget. Even with this money, the budget for external action remains below the limits (ceilings) for 2015.

What about the remaining €400 million?

In addition to the €401.3 million reinforcement included in Draft Amending Budget 7/2015, a further €400 million is being redirected from within the already agreed 2015 budget for external action. This money will now be reoriented to directly tackle the refugee crisis and will be allocated as follows:

  • €200 million will go to provide immediate resources to respond to demands from the UNHCR and the World Food Programme and other relevant organisations. This will provide immediate support to refugees. This money had already been planned for humanitarian aid and civil protection and will now be used specifically to address the refugee crisis. Part of the money is in an emergency aid reserve (EAR) and the Commission has requested to use €175 million of this reserve to reinforce the actions for humanitarian aid.  
  • €200 million will go to further reinforce the Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis. Together with the €300 million in the Draft Amending Budget, this reallocation will bring the funding for the EU Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis to a total of more than €500 million. The €200 million is being redeployed primarily from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

Is another Draft Amending Budget needed for these other €400 million?

No, because no fresh money is being requested. Those €400million will come from reorientation of already foreseen programmes in the 2015 budget or from "reserves" (the Emergency aid reserve). In order to mobilise these sums, the Commission is submitting a "transfer of appropriations request" to the Parliament and to the Council at the same time as Draft Amending Budget 7. With this document we are asking them to authorise the use of the money from the Emergency Aid Reserve specifically for this purpose.

Will Member States have to pay more in 2015?

Member States will not be asked to contribute more to the 2015 budget than has already been foreseen. Will Member States have to pay more in 2016?

The overall spending levels for the 2016 budget will be decided in the negotiations between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission later this year.

When will this money be made available?

The Commission cannot change the budget, and thus make the money available to the relevant beneficiaries, without prior approval from the Parliament and the Council.

This means that for the emergency assistance, the money will be accessible to the potential applicants as soon as the Draft Amending Budget 7/2015 is formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.

The Commission is now counting on the budgetary authority – the Parliament and Council – to fast track the adoption of these measures, as they committed to doing last week.

The €400 million which are not included in the Draft Amending Budget will be committed also to relevant beneficiaries before the end of the year.

When will the other €900 million announced last week be accessible?

In October 2015, the Commission will propose to the Parliament and to the Council to add this amount to the budget for 2016. If approved on time by the two institutions, the money will be available from the start of 2016, when the full 2016 budget becomes available.

Could you provide a breakdown of the €801.3 million proposed today? Where does it come from?



(Commitment appropriations, in million)

Coming from

Budgeted in

Available when?

Emergency measures (AMIF / ISF)

€100 million

€70.6 million redeployments within current 2015 budget


€330.7 million of additional commitments (to be made in 2015 but to be paid 2016)



DAB 7 (2015 Budget)



When the European Parliament and the Council adopt the DAB

Reinforcing human resources of agencies (60 posts for FRONTEX, 30 EASO, 30 EUROPOL)

€1.3 million

Reinforcement of the European Neighborhood Instrument for Syria Trust Fund

€300 million

Redeployment for the Syria Trust Fund

€200 million

Redeployment within current programme

Current 2015 Budget


Reinforcement of humanitarian aid for refugees

€200 million

€175 million (Emergency Aid Reserve)

€15 million (transfer to be approved by the Parliament and the Council)

€10 million (from operational reserve)

Current 2015 Budget for commitment appropriations


When the European Parliament and the Council approve the transfer


801.3 million




AMIF / ISF, increased staffing of agencies

600 million

Fresh appropriations


Amending letter 2 to 2016 Draft Budget (to be adopted by mid-October)

Adoption 2016 Budget


Humanitarian aid for refugees

300 million


900 million





€1.7 billion




Could you provide a breakdown of all the budgetary measures that the Commission has proposed to address the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016?

a) €4.5 billion originally programmed for migration and relevant external actions in 2015 and 2016:

  • €22.5 million per year for the FRONTEX budgets for Joint Operations Triton and Poseidon;
  • €1 779 million in support to Member States for migration and border management under the AMIF and ISF funds and € 176 million in Union actions (direct actions);
  • €44 million in emergency funding in 2015 under the AMIF (€26,5 million) and ISF (€17.8 million) funds and €37 million in 2016.
  • €2.5 billion for External assistance (Heading 4 Global Europe), including a start-up contribution to the Syria Trust Fund of € 38 million from the European Union budget and €3 million from the Member States:

    - €295 million under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI);
    - €66 million under the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA)
    - €95 million under the Instrument contributing to Stability & Peace (IcSP);
    - €277 million under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI);
    - €1742 million under Humanitarian Aid;
    - €50 million under the Common Foreign and Security Policy – Missions contributing to migratory issues.


b) €1.2 billion new measures announced before the autumn for 2015 and 2016.

  • €25 million per year to double the emergency funding available to Member States under the AMIF fund;
  • €5 million per year for additional emergency funding available to Member States under the ISF fund;
  • €50 million for the resettlement scheme in 2015-2016;
  • €71 million to triple the resources in the FRONTEX budgets for Joint Operations Triton and Poseidon for the last 7 months of 2015 and 2016;
  • €30 million for dairy measures in 2016 (milk for refugees) from heading 2 (agriculture) as part of the upcoming update of the revenue and expenditure stemming from the CAP (Amending letter 2/2016);
  • €240 million for the first relocation scheme (40 000 persons) (€150 million in 2016 and €90 million in 2017);
  • €780 million for the second relocation scheme (120 000 persons).

c) €1.7 billion announced at the end of September 2015 for 2015 and 2016:

  • Additional emergency assistance under AMIF and ISF (€100 million);
  • €1.3 million in 2015 for 120 posts for the three key agencies, of which 60 for FRONTEX, 30 for EASO and 30 for EUROPOL;
  • Additional funding for the European Neighbourhood Instrument (€300 million) and redeployment of other EU funds so that the EU Trust Fund for Syria can reach at least €500 million;
  • An increase of the funding for Humanitarian Aid of €200 million to help refugees immediately notably through UNHCR and the World Food Programme, other UN Agencies and international NGOs;
  • €600 million in additional commitments for heading 3 in 2016 for increased emergency funding, increased funding for FRONTEX, EASO and EUROPOL, and additional funding to help hotspots areas and Member States most affected;
  • Further increase Humanitarian aid by €300 million in 2016, to be able to help refugees' essential needs, like food and shelter.


d) €1.8 billion Trust Fund for Africa (announced in September), the money is for the period until 2020.

This means the funds being made available to address the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016 amount to over €9.2 billion.

The Commission also announced the possible reallocation of up to €1 billion in the funding for Turkey, if Turkey wants and agrees.

There is also a €17 million payment for Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to help our neighbours tackle the migration challenge.


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