Opinion Factsheet  

Implementation of the European Agenda on Migration

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Opinion Number: CDR 5048/2017
Group: Not Affiliated
Commission: CIVEX
Status: Adopted
Date: 22/03/2018
 
• Highlight the need for involvement of local and regional authorities in the priority-setting and in evaluation of the outcome of the European Agenda on Migration, since they play an important role in the reception and hosting of migrants
• Urge the EU to increase the support to LRAs receiving the bulk of refugees and migrants and to ensure the strict implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement
• Call for more effectiveness in disrupting the smuggling networks and in returning those without a right to stay
• Urge the development of guidelines for setting up and running reception and identification centres ("hotspots") at the external borders of all the EU Member States drawing on the relevant experience in Greece and Italy
• Suggest considering the transferring of responsibility for examining asylum applications from national to EU level and call on the EU Member States to accelerate the procedures for examining asylum applications
• Underline the need for establishing and/or broadening the cooperation with third countries, setting up hotspots in their territories, while at the same time working intensively on the integration of third country nationals in the EU
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



- considers self-evident that any action taken by the EU and its Member States must always be governed by the overarching principles of compliance with international law and protection of human rights;

- recognises the need for the EU to take even more radical measures to: beef up the assistance provided to Member States on the frontline of migrant and refugee arrivals, with particular emphasis on supporting LRAs in regions which receive the bulk of refugees and migrants owing to their geographical location; ensure strict implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement in full respect of the humanitarian and international law standards; and provide the necessary assistance to the groups of people most severely affected by these movements, in particular unaccompanied minors;

- urges the European Commission to develop a set of guidelines for setting up and running reception and identification centres ("hotspots") at the external borders of all the EU Member States, guidelines that among other things would ensure the full respect of EU and international fundamental rights and establish a specific administrative framework for these facilities;

- points out that it is crucial to consider, with the involvement of the local and regional authorities most affected, the long-term possibility of transferring responsibility for examining asylum applications from national to EU level; the CoR calls on the EU Member States to accelerate the procedures for examining asylum applications, without compromising legal certainty;

- would argue that applying the principle of solidarity between Member States is a precondition for sound management of the large number of asylum applicants;

- underlines the need to create safe routes to the EU for legal migrants or people entitled to international protection status under international law, such as humanitarian visas, increased family reunification and private sponsorship programmes; setting up hotspots on the territory of third countries is an important step towards this end;

- observes that the success of integration policies will always rest on the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, gender equality, tolerance, freedom of expression and the rule of law, these being the foundation of European values;

- underlines that local and regional authorities should be partly responsible for the management of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

Importance

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Rapporteur in the EP LIBE interparliamentary meeting on migration

The LIBE committee of the European Parliament invited members of EU national parliaments to one of its meetings to discuss the European Agenda on Migration - What about legal avenues and integration. Mr Kalogeropoulos participated in this meeting and spoke about the opportunities and challenges that arise during the integration of non EU country nationals, especially from the point of view of local and regional authorities, as they are the ones which shoulder a large part of the responsibility of the migrants' integration.

 
24 Jan
 

Meeting Commissioner Avramopoulos

The rapporteur, Mr Kalogeropoulos, met with the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, in Brussels. They discussed the key points of the ongoing implementation of the European Agenda on Migration and challenges for local and regional authorities.

 
05 Dec
 

Meeting MEP Metsola

The rapporteur, Mr Kalogeropoulos, met with the member of the European Parliament and co-rapporteur on the EP report on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic approach to migration, Ms Roberta Metsola. They exchanged views and the rapporteur presented the key role local and regional authorities play in the implementation of the European Agenda on Migration and how this should be better considered in the further design of the migration policies.

 
04 Dec