Council approves more money to tackle refugee crisis
On 8 October 2015, the Council approved additional financial assistance from the 2015 EU budget in response to the migration crisis. This puts into effect the commitments made by the European Council on 23 September 2015.
In a fast-track procedure the Council accepted draft amending budget no 7 for 2015 which strengthens the EU support under the European agenda on migration by €401.3 million in commitments and €57.0 million in payments.
This includes an increase of
- €300 million in commitments for the European Neighbourhood Instrument to provide assistance to third countries hosting refugees from Syria through the Madad Trust Fund
- €100 million in commitments to finance emergency assistance provided under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, and the Internal Security Fund
- €55.7 million in payments for humanitarian aid
Draft amending budget 7/2015 also funds the creation of 120 new posts in the three EU agencies working on migration-related areas: Frontex (+60), the European Asylum Support Office (+30) and Europol (+30); this entails additional costs of €1.3 million in commitments and payments in 2015.
"I welcome the approval of this financial package which allows us to take rapid action to implement our European policies, and to improve our response to the current crisis"
Jean Asselborn, Minister for immigration and asylum of Luxembourg and President of the Council.
Since the reinforcements in commitments are partly financed by redeploying unused resources, the increase of the 2015 EU budget is limited to €330.7 million. The needs in payments are entirely covered by redeployments.
This is the second time this year that the Council has increased the EU budget for migration-related measures. In response to migratory pressures in the Mediterranean the Council on 19 June 2015 backed draft amending budget no 5, which mobilised €89 million in commitments and €76.6 million in payments from the 2015 budget.
On 8 October 2015, the Council also approved a Commission proposal to transfer €175 million in commitments and €14.3 million in payments to reinforce humanitarian assistance under heading 4 (Global Europe). The transfer's objective is to cover the most urgent needs of the population in Syria, displaced persons in Iraq and within the refugee hosting and transit countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and the Western Balkans.
Draft amending budget 7/2015 still needs the approval of the European Parliament. If the Parliament accepts the Council's position the draft amending budget will be adopted. If the Parliament adopts amendments a three-week conciliation period would start. The transfer to increase humanitarian aid is approved unless the Parliament objects to it within six weeks.