A new European Agenda on Migration, will it be enough?

Yesterday the European Commission unveiled a new European Agenda on Migration: European Union countries must provide more funds and resources or set up a multinational border guard if they want the EU to tackle migration in the Mediterranean, the trade bloc’s top migration official said Wednesday. (AP)

EU Commissioner Avramopoulos (picture) listed the new key priorities:

On asylum: “We need more legal routes for people to arrive to Europe safely, and to avoid deaths in the Mediterranean and other irregular migrant routes. We need more resettlement places. The EU has already pledged for 36 000 places – the highest number so far, but we need to do more”.

On irregular migration and the fight against migrant smuggling: “we need now to intensify our collaboration with countries of origin and transit, notably in Africa, but also Turkey and even Serbia and Kosovo”.

On securing our external borders: “If we want to enhance Frontex, we need to pool more resources from Member States. We need to enhance our capacity to quickly mobilize human and material resources to assist those Member States facing high migratory pressure not only in the Mediterranean but also at the Hungarian/Serbian border. Joint Operation Triton has already saved thousands of lives, but we need to do more”.

Full speech here.

Amnesty International criticised Commission initiative for its inconsistency. “There was no direct mention of ensuring an EU-wide search and rescue mission to respond to the growing numbers of deaths at sea, following the closure of Italy’s Operation Mare Nostrum” – “Today the Commission publicly recognised that Triton was not a replacement for Italy’s Mare Nostrum. They didn’t however indicate what could or should be done to fill the gap for this much needed search and rescue mission”, said Iverna McGowan, acting director of Amnesty International Europe.