Opinion Factsheet  

Agenda européen en matière de migration

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Opinion Number: CDR 2607/2015
Rapporteur: DECOSTER François
Commission: CIVEX
Status: Adopted
Date: 03/12/2015
 
stress that the EU's approach to migration must be comprehensive, sustainable in the long term, based on solidarity and it must respect human rights;
underline that local and regional authorities should be actively involved and their experience should be used to improve standards with regard to reception conditions and asylum procedures; training and assistance with networking should be provided for reception authorities;
reiterate that local and regional authorities must be guaranteed resources at state and EU level so that they can provide sustainable reception of asylum-seekers and refugees in the long term and can manage the reception and integration of asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants;
call for greater coherence in the EU’s internal and external policies and its policies in the areas of foreign affairs, security, trade, development, humanitarian aid and migration which would also help address the root causes of migration;
The rapporteur, during elaboration of the opinion, delivered a statement at the LIBE inter-parliamentary meeting to the members of the European Parliament and of National Parliaments on the challenges, needs and the role of local and regional authorities in migration policies.

The EP report on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration, as adopted at the EP plenary in April 2016, referred to the CoR opinion on the European Agenda on Migration and took up some key messages included in the CoR opinion, such as:
Local and regional authorities have a key role in integration processes
Community integration programmes should be encouraged for persons accepted for resettlement in cooperation with and building on best practices of Member States and local authorities
Article 80 provides a legal basis jointly with Articles 77-79 to implement the principle of solidarity in areas of asylum, immigration and border control policies
Any new system for the management of the Common European Asylum System must be based on solidarity and a fair sharing of responsibility
The Schengen Area is one of the major achievements of European integration and it should function properly
Full respect of the migrants' fundamental rights should be ensured
Under the MFF review in 2016 substantial additional resources should be provided for the Union's and Member States' migration, asylum and integration policies
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

- stresses that a successful European migration policy will only be achievable if there is a clear understanding of and long-term commitment to effective integration policies; calls on the European Commission to organise an annual Structured Dialogue on Integration together with the European Committee of the Regions with a view to drawing up, reviewing, and updating guidelines for local and regional authorities across the continent in order to ensure smooth integration;

- asks the European Commission to enforce a Single European Asylum System, which applies agreed criteria in a uniform way and provides humane and fair treatment for people seeking refuge in the Union, and a radical overhaul of the Dublin Regulation so that the differences between the 28 national systems, which are in danger of destroying Schengen, disappear, both in law and in practice;

- reiterates its conviction that the EU's approach to migration must be solidarity and shared responsibility-based, sustainable in the long term and human rights compliant;

- regrets the hesitant implementation and the very limited scope of the agreed measures on relocation, and calls urgently on the Member States to honour their commitment and on all tiers of government to put the necessary structures and mechanisms into place without delay; stresses that the key role of local and regional authorities must be more prominent in the discussion;

- stresses that the strengthening of border controls and measures to tackle irregular migration is essential, but cannot take precedence over international obligations to save lives and respect human rights, or over the right to seek asylum in the EU;

- practical cooperation with the relevant third countries must be improved in order to foster and create the most efficient and rapid voluntary return systems and to tackle root causes;

- regrets that the communication does not address sufficiently the issue of resources available to local and regional authorities to allow them to fulfil their obligations where migration and integration are concerned, ensuring they have access to national and EU funds;

- welcomes the Commission's commitment to propose the review of the Dublin Regulation; this must be underpinned by an EU-wide mandatory distribution key for sharing asylum seekers between the Member States; recommends that the Commission propose the mutual recognition of successful asylum applications and a general European immigration code.

Importance

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Medium
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European Migration Forum

The CoR organised one of the four workshops in the 2nd edition of the European Migration Forum that is co-organised by the European Commission and the EESC in Brussels. This year the Forum focused on legal migration and the CoR workshop discussed the role of the local level in the effective integration of third-country nationals, including asylum seekers and refugees. The CoR President, Mr Markkula, opened the Forum together with Commissioner Avramopoulos and the EESC President, Mr Dassis. LRA representatives and CoR members took part in the workshops and Mr Kalogeropoulos represented the CoR in the high-level debate that closed the Forum.

 
06 Apr
 

UBC Conference on refugees

Mr Geblewicz represented the CoR in the opening session of this conference that discussed the impact of the European refugees crisis in the cities of the Baltic Sea Region and took place in Rostock (Germany).

 
14 Mar
 

Article in The Guardian

The Guardian publishes an article about the main messages from the debate on migration in the CoR plenary on 3 December.

 
04 Dec
 

Debate on migration in the Plenary

Before adopting the opinion on the European Agenda on Migration, a debate between the CoR members, Commissioner Avramopoulos and MEP Ms Kyenge took place in the 115th CoR plenary.

 
03 Dec
 

Rapporteur in IOM conference

Participation of Mr Decoster in the conference of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on "Migrants and Cities" that was organised in Geneva.

 
26 Oct
 

CoR rapporteur in the LIBE meeting

The rapporteur presented his opinion and the CoR position on the European Agenda on Migration in the inter-parliamentary LIBE committee meeting in the European Parliament.

 
23 Sep
 

Adoption in CIVEX

The opinion is adopted in the 5th meeting of the CIVEX commission in Brussels.

 
14 Sep
 

First discussion in CIVEX

The working document on the European Agenda on Migration is discussed in the external meeting of the CIVEX commission in Kołobrzeg (Poland).

 
22 Jun
 

Article in "The New European"

The rapporteur writes an article on the role of new Europeans in a Europe of regions that is published in the UNITEE's magazine "The New European".

 
11 Jun
 

CoR Commission activity

 
 

CoR CIVEX commission appointed Mr Francois Decoster (FR/ALDE) as a rapporteur for the opinion on the European Agenda on Migration

 
23 Apr
 

Council

Special meeting of the European Council on migration

 
22 Apr