The Asylum and Migration Fund: A tool for more humane, transparent and effective asylum and migration policies in the EU?

On the 15th of February COFACE Families Europe, in coalition with several European NGOs working on asylum and migration, signed a joint statement on the Fund on Asylum and Migration for 2021-2017, currently under negotiation in the European Parliament. On the 19th of February the Civil Liberties (LIBE) Committee approved its report on the fund that will be voted by in the first European Parliament plenary of March.

According to the joint statement, the future Fund should aim to support fair and efficient asylum systems in Europe, to guarantee safe and dignified returns of third country nationals, as well as to harmonise high standards in the field of asylum, reception and integration.

The four main points raised by the coalition are the following ones:

  • Enhance the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) and local authorities by better equipping local authorities and CSOs to develop long-term integration activities.
  • Strengthen the Partnership Principle both at national and EU level and include a mandatory partnership principle in the new fund on migration with a view to guarantee meaningful and inclusive participation of CSOs.
  • Build synergies between the AMF and the ESF +, the Commission proposals has removed the integration scope and the “I” from AMIF, with only early integration measures falling under the AMF and the rest under ESF+. This was not backed by the LIBE Committee that re-introduced integration in the scope of the fund. For the coalition if this distinction will be kept, a robust and permanent coordination mechanism, must be put in place at the national level. Moreover, a minimum allocation requirement for integration objective should be inserted in the AMF programmes.
  • Define and frame the use of AMF in non EU countries that, according to the current proposal, can be direct beneficiaries of the fund to manage migration, including measures on readmission procedures, return, reintegration, and resettlement schemes. NGOs believe that DG Home’s actions outside of the Union must remain limited, complementary and inherently linked to the internal dimension of asylum and migration policies. The fund’s regulation should ensure with mandatory provisions that external measures pursue the genuine interests of third countries, be consistent with and complementary to the EU’s external aid and development policies.

For more information

Joint statement “The Asylum and Migration Fund: A tool for more humane, transparent and effective asylum and migration policies in the EU?” here.
The Asylum and Migration Fund Legislative schedule is here.
LIBE Committee press release “Migration and asylum: EU funds to promote integration and protect borders” here.

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