European Agenda for Migration: a strong EU response to the crisis


On 13 May 2015, the European Commission presented the European Agenda on Migration – a document outlining the actions to be taken to deal with the crisis situation in the Mediterranean and the initiatives to be put in place to better manage the migration phenomenon in all its aspects.

The external borders of the European Union have become, in recent years, the scene of unprecedented humanitarian tragedies. In June 2018 alone, more than 650 migrants lost their lives in the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach European shores in search of better living conditions.

This is an emergency situation that cannot be effectively addressed by EU Member States at national level.

The management of migration flows is, in fact, a complex issue that requires a sharing of responsibilities, not only between European countries, but also with regard to the involvement of third countries of transit and origin of migrants. For this reason, the European Commission has put in place a far-reaching strategy to respond to the immediate challenges posed by the current crisis and to provide Member States with tools to better manage the phenomenon of migration in the medium and long term.

The measures of the European Agenda

The European Agenda for Migration responds to the political priorities outlined by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and provides for a series of measures to be implemented between 2015 and 2020, based on four pillars:

  • Reducing incentives for irregular migration: addressing the root causes of irregular migration by dismantling trafficking and trafficking networks and defining actions to be taken to better implement return policies;

  • Saving lives and protecting the external borders: This involves better management of the EU’s external borders and improving the efficiency of border crossing points;

  • Strengthening the common European asylum policy: As the number of asylum seekers increases, EU policies must be based on solidarity with those in need of international protection and between EU Member States;

  • Developing a new policy on legal migration: in view of future demographic challenges, the new EU policy should aim to attract the workers that the European economy needs, facilitating the entry and recognition of qualifications.

On 16 May 2018 in Brussels, the European Commission presented the progress made in early 2018 on the implementation of the Agenda and reported on the actions taken under the Policy Roadmap – presented in December 2017 – to reach a comprehensive agreement on migration.

Although the EU’s joint efforts have continued to bear fruit,” said the European Commission’s press release, “three years after the Agenda was adopted, the current migratory pressure still makes the situation precarious, as evidenced by the recent increase in arrivals along the eastern and western Mediterranean routes. This means that, despite the progress made, the European Union must further strengthen its response to the challenges posed by migration, with particular reference to seasonal peaks and changes of course. In order to do so, it will necessarily have to strengthen its cooperation with the Member States and with its international partners.

To fill the persistent shortage of European border and coastguard resources, to improve returns, to promote resettlement and to better protect migrants along the routes. These are, in the Commission’s view, the areas where a strong and immediate EU response is required.

For more details:

European Agenda on Migration

Report on the state of implementation of the European Agenda for Migration

Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union

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