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Massive funding increases proposed for internal security, border security and migration: full documentation
13.6.18
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The European Commission has published its proposals for the EU home affairs budgets for the period 2021-2027, with the aim of increasing the internal security budget by €1.3 billion to €4.8 billion, and tripling the funding for border security and migration to €34.9 billion.

There are further proposals to come - the Commission has announced its intention to propose €12 billion in funding for Frontex and the EU Agency for Large-Scale IT Systems (eu-Lisa), €900 million for the EU Agency for Asylum, and €1.1 billion for Europol, the European Police College and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) over the same period.

The Commission's press releases are keen on the phrase "learning from the lessons of the past" as a justification for the need to massively increase spending. Critics, however, will no doubt be quick to point out that, particularly in the case of funding for migration and borders, massive spending increases directed towards the same long-standing policies will do little to alleviate their dysfunctional and deadly effects.

The Commission has also issued its formal proposal for the European Defence Fund, for which it wants €13 billion "to provide the financial firepower for cross-border investments in state-of-the-art and fully interoperable technology and equipment in areas such as encrypted software and drone technology."

A further announcement on "resilience and hybrid threats" concerns "further steps to build on the work already carried out in response to hybrid and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats."

Documentation and European Commission press releases below: first on borders and migration, followed by the press release on internal security.

See also the previous story: Budget proposals foresee big boost for spending on security, migration and border control (10 May 2018)

Documentation on borders, migration and internal security (pdfs)


EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration (also as pdf)

Brussels, 12 June 2018

For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission proposes to almost triple funding for migration and border management to €34.9 billion, as compared to €13 billion in the previous period.

The Commission's proposal is a response to increased migratory, mobility and security challenges, with more flexible funding instruments to address unforeseen migratory events and border protection at the core of the new budget. A new separate fund for integrated border management will be created and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will be further strengthened with a new standing corps of around 10,000 border guards. The new border fund will also help Member States carry out customs controls by financing customs control equipment.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "Based on past experience and the knowledge that migration will remain a challenge in the future, we are proposing an unprecedented increase in funding. Strengthening our common EU borders, in particular with our European Border and Coast Guard, will continue to be a big priority. Increased flexibility of our funding instruments means we are ready to support Member States quickly; where they need it, when they need it – particularly in the event of crisis."

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "Better managing our external borders and migration will remain key priorities for the EU, the Member States and our citizens in the years to come. Bigger challenges need bigger resources – this is why we propose to almost triple the budget in this area. The reinforced funding will be pivotal in ensuring that we can implement these political priorities: further secure our external borders, continue to grant protection to those who need it, better support legal migration and integration efforts, counter irregular migration, and effectively and swiftly return those who have no right to stay."

Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici said: "The EU's 115,000 customs officials are on the frontline in protecting our citizens from counterfeit or unsafe goods and other forms of illicit trade. To support them in that vital task, we are today proposing a new fund worth €1.3 billion, for EU countries to acquire the most cutting-edge customs equipment. The EU's Customs Union celebrates its 50th anniversary next month: we must ensure that it continues to go from strength to strength.”

During the refugee crisis of 2015 and 2016, the financial and technical support that the EU provided to Member States was essential in supporting Member States under pressure, developing search and rescue capacities, stepping up returns and better managing the external borders. Learning the lessons of the past, the Commission is proposing to almost triple funding for the crucial areas of migration and border management.

1. Securing the EU's external borders

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 Commission proposes to allocate €21.3 billion to border management overall and create a new Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF) worth more than €9.3 billion.

The key features of the new fund are:

- The right set of priorities:

  • Strengthening Europe's external borders: The new fund will continue and build on the work of the past years to better protect the EU's borders with the roll-out of the European Border and Coast Guard, systematic checks at the borders, new large-scale and interoperable IT systems, including a future Entry/Exit system. Funding will be channelled towards tackling migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings as well as intercepting and stopping those who pose a threat, support for search and rescue at sea, equipment and training for border guards, and swift operational support for Member States under pressure;
  • Stronger and more efficient visa policy: The fund will also ensure the EU's visa policy continues to evolve and modernise, whilst strengthening security and mitigating irregular migration risks;

- Support to Member States: The new fund will devote €4.8 billion in long-term funding to support Member States' border management measures and visa policy. The funding will acutely reflect Member States' needs and a review at mid-term will take account of new or additional pressures. 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%);

- A flexible and fast response: €3.2 billion will be devoted to targeted support to Member States, EU-level projects and to address urgent needs. The new fund has been designed to ensure sufficient flexibility to channel emergency funding to Member States when needed and address new and critical priorities as they emerge;

- Better customs control equipment on external borders: The new instrument will devote €1.3 billion to help Member States purchase, maintain and replace state-of-the-art customs equipment such as new scanners, automated number plate detection systems, teams of sniffer dogs and mobile laboratories for sample analysis;

- Reinforcing EU border management agencies: Outside of this fund and to be presented separately, more than €12 billion will be dedicated to further strengthening the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and EU-LISA.

2. Migration: supporting a robust, realistic and fair policy

The Commission is proposing to increase funding for migration by 51% to reach €10.4 billion under the renewed Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF). The Fund will support Member States' efforts in three key areas: asylum, legal migration and integration, and countering irregular migration and returns. The key features of the new fund are:

- The right set of priorities: The new fund will continue its vital support to national asylum systems and will place a renewed focus on channelling EU funding to the most pressing issues, such as:

  • A stronger and more efficient European asylum system: The fund will help strengthen and develop all aspects of the Common European Asylum System, including its external dimension;
  • Greater support for legal migration and integration: The fund will devote additional resources to support the early integration of non-EU nationals staying lawfully in the EU in the short-term, complemented by funding under the Cohesion funds for longer-term socio-economic integration;
  • Faster and more frequent returns: The fund will support a more coordinated approach to countering irregular migration, improve the effectiveness of returns and further intensify cooperation with non-EU countries on readmission;

- Support for Member States: The fund will devote €6.3 billion in long-term funding to support Member States in managing migration, reflecting Member State's needs. A review at mid-term will take account of new or additional pressures. Each Member State will receive a fixed sum of €5 million with the remainder distributed based on an assessment of the pressures faced and taking into account proportions in the area of asylum (30%), legal migration and integration (30%) and countering irregular migration and return (40%);

- Better preparedness: €4.2 billion will be reserved for 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;

- Greater coordination across EU funding instruments: The asylum and migration fund will be complemented by the additional funds dedicated under the EU's external policy instruments to stepping up cooperation on migration with partner countries, including efforts to tackle irregular migration, improve opportunities in countries of origin, enhance cooperation on return and readmission and legal migration;

- Reinforcing EU agencies: Outside of this fund and to be presented separately, almost €900 million will be dedicated to further strengthening the new European Union Agency for Asylum.

Next steps

A swift agreement on the overall long-term EU budget and its sectoral proposals is essential to ensure that EU funds start delivering results on the ground as soon as possible.

Delays could jeopardise the European Union's ability to respond to future crises should they arise and could starve projects of vital funds – such as the EU-wide Assisted Voluntary Return and Readmission programmes and the continuation of EU-funding for resettlement.

An agreement on the next long-term budget in 2019 would provide for a seamless transition between the current long-term budget (2014-2020) and the new one, and would ensure predictability and continuity of funding to the benefit of all.

Background

Border management and migration have been a political priority since the beginning of the Juncker Commission's mandate – from President Juncker's Political Guidelines of July 2014 to the latest State of the Union address on 13 September 2017.

However, the scale and urgency of 2015-16 refugee crisis took Europe by surprise. To avert a humanitarian crisis and enable a joint response to this unprecedented challenge as well as new security threats, the EU used all flexibility in the existing budget to mobilise additional funds. From the original allocations for 2014-20 of €6.9 billion for the AMIF and ISF (Borders and Police) funds, an additional €3.9 billion was mobilised to reach €10.8 billion for migration, border management and internal security – and this does not even include the large amount of funding mobilised to address the refugee crisis outside the EU.

Learning the lessons from the past, the Commission is now proposing to double funding across the board, with €10.4 billion for migration, €9.3 billion for border management, €2.5 billion for internal security and €1.2 billion for safer decommissioning of nuclear activities in some Member States – reaching over €23 billion overall.

In addition, support to EU Agencies in security, border and migration management will be increased from €4.2 billion to €14 billion.

Documentation on border management and visas (pdfs)


EU budget: €4.8 billion in security funding for a Europe that protects (also as a pdf)

Strasbourg, 13 June 2018

For the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing to substantially increase the current security funding – from €3.5 billion to €4.8 billion.

With threats increasingly complex and international in nature, EU funds can help build a Union resilient to future security challenges and better equipped to respond to emergencies. The €2.5 billion under the reinforced Internal Security Fund (ISF) is complemented by almost €1.2 billion for safer decommissioning of nuclear activities in some Member States, and comes in addition to €1.1 billion for stronger EU Agencies in the area of security.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "Feeling safe at home or when walking down the street is one of the most basic human rights. Europeans expect their governments and their Union to provide that safety. More flexible security funding tailored to the specific needs of Member States will ensure that Europeans can be better protected, as they rightly should be. "

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "When it comes to the security and safety of our citizens, we should be sparing no efforts – and our money needs to follow suit. This is why we are increasing the security budget for the next years by one third, to reach € 4.8 billion. We are helping Member States to be better prepared for future security challenges and unforeseen emergencies. We are building a safer and more resilient Europe for our citizens. A Europe that protects."

Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: "We need to build a robust response to the multi-dimensional, cross-border and constantly-evolving security threats we face from terrorists and criminals – one that doesn't duplicate Member States' efforts, but rather complements them by connecting the dots both within the EU and beyond. Today's proposal for a greatly reinforced Internal Security Fund offers exactly that – a more resilient Europe as the foundation of an effective and genuine Security Union."

A reinforced Internal Security Fund (ISF)

While protecting citizens is first and foremost a national competence, the European Union plays a vital role in supporting Member States' efforts. The Commission is proposing today to more than double the Internal Security Fund (ISF), the key financial instrument to support Member States in the area of security, from €1 billion to €2.5 billion. The new fund will include:

  • A new set of objectives: The reinforced ISF will have 3 new objectives focusing on: (1) increasing the exchange of information between EU law enforcement authorities; (2) intensifying cross-border joint operations; and (3) strengthening capabilities to combat and prevent crime, and to tackle radicalisation. This will support Member States in a more flexible and effective way to deliver on priority security areas: the fight against terrorism and radicalisation; serious and organised crime; cybercrime; and the protection of victims of crime;
  • More flexibility and better emergency response: €1.5 billion of the fund will be allocated to Member States allowing them to build long term security resilience. The remaining €1 billion will be reserved for unforeseen security challenges, allowing for rapid response to emergencies and the channelling of funds to the Member States that need them most;
  • Greater coordination across EU policies: Security is an evolving and cross-cutting issue requiring a coordinated EU response. The reinforced ISF will work more effectively with other EU funds, including the Cohesion Policy Funds and Horizon Europe, as well as the Integrated Border Management Fund and the Asylum and Migration Fund in order to maximise the effectiveness of the EU response to security challenges on all fronts;
  • Strong external dimension: Security is a global issue and our safety at home depends on our actions beyond the EU borders. The ISF will continue to support measures in non-EU countries, while ensuring full complementarity with the Union's internal security priorities and overall objectives in those countries.
  • Reinforcing EU agencies: Outside of this fund and to be presented separately, almost €1.1 billion will be dedicated to further strengthening of EU Agencies in the area of security – European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (EUROPOL), the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Continued safety of nuclear decommissioning

The EU's nuclear decommissioning assistance programmes (NDAP) aim to assist Member States in the process of winding and shutting down those nuclear installations in the final step in their lifecycles, while keeping the highest level of safety. For 2021-2027, the Union will continue to provide strictly targeted financial support in the amount of €118 million for decommissioning in Bulgaria and Slovakia, and €552 million for nuclear decommissioning in Lithuania. Another €348 million will be allocated for decommissioning and radioactive waste management of the European Commission's nuclear research facilities, and €160 million will support general nuclear safety and safeguards actions.

Finally, the Commission also proposes to reinforce the EU Civil Protection Mechanism through its rescEU system with €1.4 billion - this comes in addition to the €4.8 billion for the future security funding.

Next Steps

A swift agreement on the overall long-term EU budget and its sectoral proposals is essential to ensure that EU funds start delivering results on the ground as soon as possible.

Delays similar to those experienced at the beginning of the current 2014-2020 budgetary period would mean: that 5,000 frontline practitioners, including teachers, youth workers, police and prison staff, would not be able to share their experiences of preventing radicalisation; the EU Internet Referral Unit (IRU) at Europol would not be able to flag over 40,000 examples of violent extremist online content to Internet platforms; and Member States would not be able to exchange important security information, including via the Schengen Information System (SIS) which was consulted 5 billion times in 2017.

An agreement on the next long-term budget in 2019 would provide for a seamless transition from the current long-term budget (2014-2020) and would ensure predictability and continuity of funding to the benefit of all.

Background

Security has been a political priority since the beginning of the Juncker Commission's mandate – from President Juncker's Political Guidelines of July 2014 to the latest State of the Union address on 13 September 2017.

However, the scale and urgency of 2015-16 refugee crisis took Europe by surprise. To avert a humanitarian crisis and enable a joint response to this unprecedented challenge as well as new security threats, the EU used all flexibility in the existing budget to mobilise additional funds. From the original allocations for 2014-20 of €6.9 billion for the AMIF and ISF (Borders and Police) funds, an additional €3.9 billion was mobilised to reach €10.8 billion for migration, border management and internal security – and this does not even include the large amount of funding mobilised to address the refugee crisis outside the EU.

Learning the lessons from the past, the Commission is now proposing to double funding across the board, with €10.4 billion for migration, €9.3 billion for border management, €2.5 billion for internal security and €1.2 billion for safer decommissioning of nuclear activities in some Member States – reaching over €23 billion overall.

In addition, support to EU Agencies in security, border and migration management will be increased from €4.2 billion to €14 billion.

Documentation on internal security proposals

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