EU interior ministers approve further 400M euro to address migrant crisis

European Union interior ministers approved at an October 8 meeting the provision of a further 401.3 million euro from the 2015 EU budget in response to the migrant crisis.

This puts into effect the commitments made by the European Council on September 23 2015, a statement after the EU ministers’ meeting said.

In a fast-track procedure the Council accepted a draft amending budget for 2015 which strengthens the EU support under the European agenda on migration by 401.3 million euro in commitments and 57.0 million euro in payments.

This includes an increase of 300 million euro in commitments for the European Neighbourhood Instrument to provide assistance to third countries hosting refugees from Syria through the Madad Trust Fund, 100 million euro in commitments to finance emergency assistance provided under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, and the Internal Security Fund, and 55.7 million euro in payments for humanitarian aid.

The draft amending budget also funds the creation of 120 new posts in the three EU agencies working on migration-related areas: Frontex (+60), the European Asylum Support Office (+30) and Europol (+30); this entails additional costs of 1.3 million euro in commitments and payments in 2015.

“Since the reinforcements in commitments are partly financed by redeploying unused resources, the increase of the 2015 EU budget is limited to 330.7 million euro. The needs in payments are entirely covered by redeployments,” the statement said.

This is the second time this year that the Council has increased the EU budget for migration-related measures. In response to migratory pressures in the Mediterranean, the Council on June 19 backed a draft amending budget which mobilised 89 million euro in commitments and 76.6 million euro in payments from the 2015 budget.

On October 8, the Council also approved a European Commission proposal to transfer 175 million euro in commitments and 14.3 million euro in payments to reinforce humanitarian assistance. The transfer’s objective is to cover the most urgent needs of the population in Syria, displaced persons in Iraq and within the refugee hosting and transit countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and the Western Balkans, the statement said.

The draft amending budget approved by the ministers on October 8 requires approval from the European Parliament.

(Photo: UNHCR/S. Baltagiannis)



The Sofia Globe staff

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