EU flags next to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium | Photo: EPA/Julien Warnand
EU flags next to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium | Photo: EPA/Julien Warnand

The European Parliament has approved two funds: Until 2017, nearly €10 billion will go towards implementing migration and asylum policies in the European Union (EU), over €6 billion will be spend on border control measures.

The European Parliament on Wednesday gave its final approval to two funds that that are aimed at improving the management of migrant flows and border controls and facilitating the integration of migrants and refugees.

Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund: €9.88 billion

The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2021-2027 will receive €9.88 billion, to "strengthen the EU’s common asylum policy, develop legal migration in line with member states’ needs, support the integration of third-country nationals, and contribute to the fight against irregular migration," according to a statement released on the parliament's homepage. "At Parliament's request, the fund should also serve to push member states to share more fairly the responsibility of hosting refugees and asylum-seekers across the EU," the statement continued.

The majority of the fund (63.5%) will be allocated to programs managed jointly by the EU and member states. How much money each country receives will vary based on several factors, including how many third-country nationals are living there, how many asylum requests have been filed there, and how many deportations the country carries out.

The other 36.5% will be managed directly by the EU and dedicated, among other things, to emergency assistance and to refugee and asylum seeker resettlement -- both within the European Union "as part of solidarity efforts" and from non-EU countries to the EU for humanitarian reasons.

Border Management Fund: €6.24 billion

The Integrated Border Management Fund will receive €6.24 billion over seven years. This fund is "intended to help strengthen EU external border management while ensuring fundamental rights are respected," the EU parliament said on its website. "It will also contribute to a common, harmonized visa policy, and introduce protective measures for vulnerable people arriving in Europe, in particular unaccompanied children."

Tanja Fajon, a Slovian member of the European Parliament who is part of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, commented on the approval of the funds. She said: "For solidarity to be at the heart of Europe's migration and asylum policy, we need additional resources to support it. Today's decision guarantees the EU is investing not just in the strengthening of asylum systems, but also in the fair sharing of migration pressures between member states.

 

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