High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Avramopoulous, along with EU Foreign and Interior Ministers presented a 10 point plan in response to the Mediterranean immigration crisis:
- Reinforce the Joint Operations in the Mediterranean, namely Triton and Poseidon, by increasing the financial resources and the number of assets. We will also extend their operational area, allowing us to intervene further, within the mandate of Frontex;
- A systematic effort to capture and destroy vessels used by the smugglers. The positive results obtained with the Atalanta operation should inspire us to similar operations against smugglers in the Mediterranean;
- EUROPOL, FRONTEX, EASO and EUROJUST will meet regularly and work closely to gather information on smugglers modus operandi, to trace their funds and to assist in their investigation;
- EASO to deploy teams in Italy and Greece for joint processing of asylum applications;
- Member States to ensure fingerprinting of all migrants;
- Consider options for an emergency relocation mechanism;
- A EU wide voluntary pilot project on resettlement, offering a number of places to persons in need of protection;
- Establish a new return programme for rapid return of irregular migrants coordinated by Frontex from frontline Member States;
- Engagement with countries surrounding Libya through a joined effort between the Commission and the EEAS; initiatives in Niger have to be stepped up.
- Deploy Immigration Liaison Officers (ILO) in key third countries, to gather intelligence on migratory flows and strengthen the role of the EU Delegations.
Full press release here.