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European Commission - Fact Sheet

Questions and Answers: Future EU funding for Borders and Migration

Brussels, 12 June 2018

How much funding will be available for border and migration management?

€34.9 billion.

Learning the lessons of the past, and in the knowledge that migration and border management will remain a challenge in the future, the Commission proposes to significantly reinforce funding for migration and border management under the next EU budget from 2021 to 2027.

An unprecedented level of funding will be channelled through two primary funds:

  • The Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF, the current AMIF) will be transformed and reinforced.
  • The current Borders and Visa instrument under the Internal Security Fund will be incorporated into a new fund, the Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF). This new fund will also include another new instrument: the Customs Control Equipment Instrument.

In total, €34.9 billion will be made available over the next 7-year period, up from around €13 billion under the current financial period:

  • A 51% increase is proposed for the budget for migration policy from the current €6.9 billion to €10.4 billion.
  • A fourfold increase is proposed for border management funding under the new Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF) from the current €2.7 billion (2014-2020) up to €9.3 billion (+241%).

Moreover, the Commission has proposed to allocate more than €12 billion to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and EU-LISA, and nearly €900 million to the European Union Agency for Asylum (currently EASO), to be presented later.

1. Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF)

Why has a new separate fund been created for border management?

Under the current EU budget, border management falls under the umbrella of the Internal Security Fund (ISF) which is split into ISF-Borders and ISF-Police.

The creation of a dedicated border management fund in the context of the next Multiannual Financial Framework is a reflection of the fact that both border management and internal security have become increasingly pressing priorities – each worthy of dedicated and more targeted financing instruments.

The effective protection of the EU's external borders is crucial to manage migration and ensure internal security. Strong external borders are also what allow the EU to maintain a Schengen area without internal border controls.

The new Integrated Border Management Fund includes the Border Management and Visa Instrument and will also include a new instrument: the Customs Control Equipment Instrument, in recognition of the role customs authorities play in protecting all our borders (sea, air, land and postal hubs), while facilitating trade and shielding citizens from dangerous and fake goods.

What are the priorities of the new Integrated Border Management Fund?

Over the past few years, a number of measures have been introduced to address the immediate challenges and to put in place all the important building blocks needed to ensure strong borders.

The new fund will support these ongoing efforts and further increase support to securing our external borders, focusing on:

  • more support to Member States in securing the EU's external borders;
  • more uniformity in customs controls;
  • ensuring large-scale IT systems used for border management are robust and can function seamlessly with one another and with national systems;
  • ensuring the EU's common visa policy adapts to evolving security concerns, challenges linked to migration and new opportunities offered by technological developments.

How will the funds be allocated?

The total of €9.3 billion under the Integrated Border Management Fund is split between:

  • €4.8 billion in long-term funding to support Member States' border management measures and visa policy (this includes an initial funding allocation to Member States (50%, €4 billion) and an adjustment at the mid-term to take account of new or additional pressures (10%, €0.8 billion);
  • €3.2 billion for a "thematic facility" devoted to targeted support to Member States, as well as EU-level projects and to address urgent needs (40%) which will be allocated throughout the funding period;
  • €1.3 billion for the Customs Control Equipment Instrument.

The funding allocated to Member States will acutely reflect Member States' needs. At the start of the programming period, each Member State will receive a fixed sum of €5 million, with the remainder distributed based on the workload, pressure and threat level at external land borders (30%), external sea borders (35%), airports (20%) and consular offices (15%).  

Moreover, €157.2 million of the €4.8 billion for Member States will be reserved for the Special Transit Scheme supporting Lithuania.

How will you do the calculations for the national allocations under the Border Management and Visa Instrument? Why can you not provide the full breakdown by Member State now?

Each Member State will receive a fixed sum of €5 million at the start of the financing period. Beyond this, their individual allocations will be based on an assessment of where the funds are needed most. This assessment will be repeated at mid-term.

For each Member State, this will take into account:

  • The length and the workload (based on the number of crossings and the number of refused entries) at any section of the EU's external land and sea borders they manage, and factoring in the threat level (based on a vulnerability assessment by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency);
  • The workload (based on the number of crossings and the number of refused entries) at airports in that country;
  • The number and workload (based on the number of visa applications) of consular offices of that country;

Calculations will be based on statistical data collected by Eurostat, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Member States going back 3 years (36 months) before the new budget enters into application.

In addition, Member States will throughout the programming period receive on top of their allocations and in line with the calculations mentioned above, additional targeted funding for thematic priorities or as a response to urgent needs. This funding will come from the 'thematic facility'.

Since the next long-term budget is intended to cover the period from 2021 onwards, it is not possible to predict today what the future data will show. A breakdown based on today's data would provide a skewed picture and not reflect what the actual allocations will be.

Will the budget increase also finance the strengthening of EU border management Agencies?

Yes it will. In addition to the €9.3 billion under the Integrated Border Management Fund, and to be presented separately, more than €12 billion will be dedicated to further strengthening the European Border and Coast Guard Agency - including the financing of the new standing corps of around 10,000 border guards - as well as funding for EU-LISA (the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice).

Will the Commission now also finance the construction of fences?

No. The Commission's work is aimed at ensuring proper control of borders, not closing them. The Commission has never financed fences and will not do so under the new EU budget either.

Will the carrying out of mandatory systematic checks at external borders be supported under the fund?

Yes.

Since 7 April 2017, Member States are obliged to carry out systematic checks against relevant databases on EU citizens who are crossing the EU's external borders, in addition to the systematic checks already being carried out on all third-country nationals entering the Schengen zone.

Under the new Integrated Border Management Fund (the instrument for border management and visa), Member States will be given additional support in fulfilling these responsibilities.

This includes support for infrastructure, equipment (for example document scanners) and IT systems for border control, but also support for training of border guards and for actions aimed at improving intra-agency cooperation. Member States will also be able to cover staff costs and running costs for the mandatory systematic checks at external borders.

How will the new Visa Instrument support the development of the common visa policy?

The new fund will help to modernise the EU's common visa policy. The funding will notably be essential in improving the efficiency of visa processing, for example to detect and assess security and irregular migration risks, as well as for facilitating visa procedures for legitimate travellers.

In 2018, the Commission has put forward two proposals for a targeted amendment of the Visa Code and for a revision of the legal framework of the Visa Information System (VIS). The implementation of some of the measures proposed will need to be supported financially. For instance, the upgrade of the VIS for its use in conjunction with other Union information systems, as well as for improved cooperation between Member States' authorities in the handling of visa applications.

Moreover, the fund will also serve to further assess the prospect of digitialising visa processing. In the medium to long-term, it will be essential for implementing fast, secure and client-friendly electronic visa procedures for the benefit of both visa applicants and consulates.

Why is such importance given to customs controls?

The Customs Union is unique in the world. It is a foundation of the European Union and essential for the proper functioning of the Single Market. Once cleared by customs in one Member State, goods can move freely within the Union on the basis that all Member States apply the same revenue and protection rules at external borders. The EU's customs administrations need to work closely to facilitate trade and protect the health and safety of all EU citizens. The EU is one of the largest trading blocks in the world: in 2015, the EU accounted for almost 15% of world trade in goods, worth €3.5 trillion.

Managing this volume of international trade requires handling millions of customs declarations per year in a fast and efficient manner. But customs are also there to protect. They play an important role in the fight against terrorism by checking for the illegal trafficking of firearms and illegal trade in works of art and cultural goods. They protect consumers against goods which present a risk to health and safety. For example, 454.2 tonnes of drugs, 35 million counterfeit goods and 3.2 billion cigarettes were seized in the EU in 2014. Appropriate controls require fast, high-quality and updated information and sound coordination among the customs administrations of our Member States.

What is provided for in the new 'Customs Equipment Instrument'?

The new Customs equipment instrument aims to help Member States carry out customs controls by financing the necessary equipment. A new instrument worth €1.3 billion is being created to allow the purchase, maintenance and replacement of innovative customs equipment, given that neither the Customs programme nor other existing financing tools are available for this purpose.

This funding instrument will cover customs equipment for all four types of borders, land, sea, air and postal, with a task-force composed of voluntarily participating Member States overseeing and assessing the equipment needs for each type of border. The funding will be made available to all Member States. Work has already been carried out by the Customs Eastern and Southern Eastern European Land Border Expert Team (CELBET) which brings together the 11 Member States responsible for the EU's land borders. CELBET will continue its activities. For other types of borders, work can now begin so that the needs of Member States can be assessed and funds allocated as soon as the Customs equipment instrument comes into effect in 2021.

What kind of equipment can be purchased using the new instrument?

The instrument aims to fund equipment that is not intrusive but that allows customs controls to be performed efficiently and effectively. Possible equipment that Member States could purchase, maintain or upgrade include scanners, automated number plate detection systems, teams of sniffer dogs and mobile laboratories for sample analysis. Equipment needs will be determined through the Customs programme which runs alongside the new Customs Equipment Instrument announced today. The customs equipment made available under this fund can also be used for other compliance controls such as visa and police provisions where applicable, maximising their impact.

The instrument prioritises funding for equipment under specific eligibility criteria. Equipment will be eligible for purchase under the new rules only if it relates to at least one of the six following purposes: non-intrusive inspection; indication of hidden objects on humans; radiation detection and nuclide identification; analysis of samples in laboratories; sampling and field analysis of samples; and handheld search. This list can be reviewed as needed. The instrument will also support the purchase or upgrade of customs control equipment for testing new pieces or new conditions on the ground before Member States start large-scale purchases of new equipment.

2. Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF)

What are the priorities of the Asylum and Migration Fund?

Over the past 20 years, the European Union has put in place some of the highest common asylum standards in the world. And in the past three years, European migration policy has advanced in leaps and bounds with the European Agenda on Migration proposed by the Juncker Commission in May 2015. Progressively, a more united approach to dealing with migration is emerging.

The new fund will support these ongoing efforts and further increase support for managing migration, focusing on:

  • More support to Member States under the most migratory pressure;
  • More support for legal migration and the early integration of legally staying non-EU citizens;
  • Countering irregular migration, increasing the effective return of those people who have no right to stay and cooperation on readmission with third countries;
  • Equipping the Union with faster and more flexible means of responding to crises.

How will the money under the AMF be allocated between Member States?

The Commission proposed to dedicate €10.4 billion to the renewed Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF).

€4.2 billion (40%) of this will be allocated throughout the funding period to ensure targeted support to Member States, projects with a real European added value such as resettlement or for responding to urgent needs and channelling emergency funding to Member States when and where they need it

The fund will devote €6.3 billion (60%) to long-term funding to support Member States in managing migration.

This includes an initial funding allocation to Member States (50% of the whole fund, €5.2 billion) and an adjustment at the mid-term to take account of new or additional pressures (10%, €1.1 billion);

Each Member State will received a fixed sum of €5 million, with the remainder distributed based on the migratory pressure and Member States' needs in the fields of asylum (30%), integration and legal migration (30%) and countering irregular migration and return (40%).

How will you do the calculations for the national allocations? Why can you not provide the full breakdown by Member State now?

The funding allocated to Member States will acutely reflect Member States' needs. At the start of the programming period, each Member State will receive a fixed sum of €5 million. Beyond this, their individual allocations will be based on an assessment of where the funds are needed most. The remainder will be distributed based on the migratory pressure and Member States' needs in the fields of asylum. For each Member State, this will take into account:

  • Asylum (weighted 30%): the number of recognised beneficiaries of international protection (30%), asylum seekers (60%), and resettled persons (10%);
  • Legal migration and integration (weighted 30%): the number of legally residing non-EU nationals (40%), and the number of non-EU nationals who have obtained a first residence permit (seasonal workers, students and researchers do not fall into this category);
  • Return (weighted 40%): the number of irregularly staying non-EU nationals who have been issued a return decision (50%), and the number of returns effectively carried out (50%).

Calculations will be based on statistical data collected by Eurostat going back 3 calendar years before the new budget enters into application.

Since the next long-term budget is intended to cover the period from 2021 onwards, it is not possible to predict today what the future data will show. A breakdown based on today's data would provide a skewed picture and not reflect what the actual allocations will be.

What measures were taken with the current funds to support Member States during the migration crisis?

Overall, the current Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) has effectively and successfully supported the Union's common response to increased migration and security challenges, while also providing a sign of solidarity to the Member States on the frontline. On the other hand, in response to the migration crisis, increased security challenges and a constantly evolving policy environment, the Commission had to use a multitude of ad hoc funding arrangements to support a common and sufficient EU response, in particular while flexibility reserves and mechanisms created when migration flows were stable.

The budgetary increases until mid-term of the current financial period 2014-2020 clearly demonstrated that budgetary means had reached their limits. The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund was more than doubled (+123%), funding for decentralised agencies almost doubled (+86%), and Emergency Assistance increased by almost 500%. In addition to EU funding instruments, some of which needed to be modified for use within the Union (notably the Emergency Support Instrument), the Union had to put in place innovative funding solutions such as Trust Funds to leverage funding beyond the limits of the financial framework.

Experience in the current financial framework points to a clear need for significantly increased funding amounts and additional flexibility, so as to ensure predictable and sound budgetary management.

What happened to the "I" for integration in the former fund?

The Commission is proposing to give support for integration policies a new boost under the next long-term budget, by combining the power of several funding instruments.

Under the Asylum and Migration Fund, support for integration will focus on early integration measures and aim at facilitating first key integration steps such as language courses but also capacity-building for authorities in charge of integration policy, one-stop information shops for newly-arrived legally staying migrants and exchanges between legally staying recently-arrived migrants and members of the host community.

Longer-term integration will be supported under the EU's cohesion funds, in particular the future European Social Fund+ and future European Regional Development Fund. Such long-term integration measures include for example structural support measures such as vocational training, education and housing.

Will there be funding for resettlement?

Yes. As with the ongoing EU-level resettlement schemes, the Commission is proposing Member States receive €10,000 per person resettled.

How will return policies be supported?

Effective return is an essential component of a fair, humane but importantly – sustainable – EU migration policy. The fund will help counter irregular migration, ensuring the sustainability of return and effective readmission in third countries. As with all EU policies, this will take place in full respect of the fundamental rights and dignity of returnees.

Supported measures will include the carrying out of returns; stepping up return infrastructure and detention capacity, enhanced cooperation with countries of origin to facilitate and implement readmission agreements and practical arrangements, and reintegration support. Actions designed to prevent irregular migration in the first place (such as information campaigns, data collection and tracking of flows and routes, etc.) will also be supported under the fund.

What is the link with external migration management?

The EU's internal and external dimensions of migration management are interlinked. The Asylum and Migration Fund will be able to support the external projection of the Union's internal policies.

At the same time, such support will be greatly complemented by the additional funds dedicated under the EU's external policy to tackle the external dimension of migration, including efforts to tackle the root causes of irregular migration, improve opportunities in countries of origin, enhance cooperation on return and readmission and legal migration (see separate sectoral proposal to be presented in the coming days).

Can local authorities and civil society organisations also benefit from funding under the AMF?

The Commission believes local and regional levels of government and civil society play a crucial role, notably in the field of integration and that they should receive as much support as possible.

For this reason, while past funds were provided to national authorities to cover 75% of the costs of a measure (co-financing rate), in the future when regions, municipalities and civil society organisations are implementing the measures in question, the EU budget will cover 90% of the costs.

Why does the AMF fund include funding for the new Dublin system when this has not yet been agreed?

The AMF proposal already includes support for the transfer of asylum applicants under the proposed reform of the Dublin Regulation. The funding would cover first-reception measures and basic assistance, support for integration if the applicant receives protection status, as well as support for those that would need to be returned if not obtaining protection or a right to remain.

The proposal reflects the Dublin Regulation as it stands at this stage of the negotiations, but will be adapted to reflect the final outcome of those negotiations.

How will monitoring of migration and border funds be assured?

The Commission will monitor the implementation of the actions under direct and indirect management. For funds which management is shared between the EU and Member States, Member States will be primarily in charge of monitoring of the EU-funded projects. Authorities responsible for EU funds in the Member States have to set up management and control systems complying with EU requirements including on monitoring. Actions under shared management are monitored by each Member State through a management and control systems in line with EU law (the Common Provision Regulation). A new focus will be on a regular assessments of performance indicators (Member States will send data for each programme up to six times per year).

Member States will also send an annual performance report, which should set out information on the progress in the implementation of the programme and in achieving the milestones and targets. A review meeting between the Commission and each Member State will be organised every 2 years to examine the performance of each programme. At the end of the period, each Member State will submit a final performance report.

For more information

Press release

Legal texts and factsheets on migration and border management

 

 

MEMO/18/4127

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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