One year after the adoption of a new compact proposal on migration and asylum, the European Commission has unveiled an improved action plan to combat migrant smuggling. The bloc also approved a list of sanctions and measures against employers who are nationals of illegal third countries and published a summary of the agreement’s development during its first year.
According to the UNHCR press release, these initiatives aim to prevent migrant abuse, reduce illegal immigration, and encourage better immigration management, TheSchengen.com reports.
Through these initiatives, the EU intends to tackle organized crime, which has been a challenge for some time now and adapt to new issues, such as the situation in Belarus, where state-sponsored migrants are smuggled.
EU Commission Vice-President for Enhancing Our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said the EU needs a stable asylum and migration framework to help member states better manage migration issues as they continue to rise in their territory and cost lines.
Vice-President Schinas noted, “From the ongoing pressure in the central Mediterranean to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the new pressure on our eastern borders, all these developments demonstrate the urgent need for a sustainable European framework for asylum and migration.”
He also indicated that the time had come for Member States to come up with solutions with regard to migration.
The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, agreed with Schinas, saying that the creation of the Migration Framework Regulation will show the global political landscape that the EU and member states offer protection to people in need.
“We have made important progress in the new compact on migration and asylum, and recent events underscore the urgent need to make progress on our carefully balanced proposals: the Eurodac screening proposals will allow adequate screening of all EU arrivals while they are present, complemented by our proposals on solidarity,” Johansson noted.
In its first year, the report on immigration and asylum reveals issues related to immigration, including the impact of the pandemic, the work of border agencies, and funding. The report also explains and provides data on the phenomenon of illegal immigration at the border between Lithuania and Belarus and provides support to Greece in managing the influx of Afghan refugees.
On the other hand, the renewed EU Action Plan includes several key points aimed at better managing migration in the 27-nation bloc. In cooperation with the High Representative, the Commission will establish partnerships to combat smuggling and define subsequent measures on a case-by-case basis, as happened recently with Belarus.
Furthermore, the new charter aims to improve the legal framework for protecting refugees from exploitation as well as increase the implementation of the legal framework for smugglers.