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Procedure : 2015/2342(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0045/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0045/2017

Debates :

PV 04/04/2017 - 14
CRE 04/04/2017 - 14

Votes :

PV 05/04/2017 - 9.22
CRE 05/04/2017 - 9.22

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0124

Texts adopted
PDF 270kWORD 72k
Wednesday, 5 April 2017 - Strasbourg Final edition
Addressing refugee and migrant movements: the role of EU external action
P8_TA(2017)0124A8-0045/2017

European Parliament resolution of 5 April 2017 on addressing refugee and migrant movements: the role of EU External Action (2015/2342(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 3, 8 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to Articles 80, 208 and 216 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy published in June 2016,

—  having regard to the Commission communications entitled: ‘A European Agenda on Migration’ of 13 May 2015 (COM(2015)0240); ‘Forced Displacement and Development’ of 26 April 2016 (COM(2016)0234); ‘Establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration’ of 7 June 2016 (COM(2016)0385); and ‘Strengthening European investments for jobs and growth: Towards a second phase of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and a new European External Investment Plan’ of 14 September 2016 (COM(2016)0581); and to the Joint Communications from the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy entitled: ‘Addressing the Refugee Crisis in Europe: The Role of EU External Action’ of 9 September 2015 (JOIN(2015)0040); ‘Migration on the Central Mediterranean Route: Managing flows, saving lives’ of 25 January 2017 (JOIN(2017)0004); and ‘Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy’ of 18 November 2015 (JOIN(2015)0050),

—  having regard to the General Affairs Council conclusions on the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) of 3 May 2012,

—  having regard to the European Council conclusions on migration of 25-26 June, 15 October and 17-18 December 2015 and of 17-18 March and 28 June 2016,

—  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on migration in EU development cooperation of 12 December 2014, on migration of 12 October 2015, on the EU approach to forced displacement and development of 12 May 2016 and on external aspects of migration of 23 May 2016,

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on the future partnership priorities and compacts with Jordan and Lebanon of 17 October 2016,

—  having regard to the Declaration of the High-Level Conference on the Eastern Mediterranean/Western Balkans route of 8 October 2015,

—  having regard to the Political Declaration and Action Plan of the Valletta Summit of 11-12 November 2015,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Bratislava Summit of 16 September 2016,

—  having regard to the European Court of Auditors Special Report (9/2016) on ‘EU external migration spending in Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Neighbourhood countries until 2014’,

—  having regard to the UN Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, and to the core international human rights conventions, the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols regulating the conduct of armed conflict and seeking to limit its effects,

—  having regard to the outcome document of the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development of 25 September 2015 entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’,

—  having regard to the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants of 19 September 2016 and the annexes thereto on a ‘Comprehensive refugee response framework’ and ‘Towards a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration’,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular those of 9 July 2015 on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy(1) , of 8 March 2016 on the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU(2) , of 12 April 2016 on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration(3) , of 13 September 2016 on the EU Trust Fund for Africa: implications for development and humanitarian aid(4) , and of 25 October 2016 on human rights and migration in third countries(5) ,

—  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the joint deliberations of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Development under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Development and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0045/2017),

A.  whereas migration is a human right enshrined in Article 13 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights; whereas people should have the right to live their lives in their home country and in the region in which they have been born and grown up and where they have their cultural and social roots;

B.  whereas human mobility is at an unprecedentedly high level, with 244 million international migrants, owing to various reasons, migrating both voluntarily and involuntarily; whereas such international migration occurs primarily within the same region and between developing countries; whereas, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), migrant women make up the majority of international migrants in Europe (52,4 %) and North America (51,2 %); whereas South-South migration flows have continued to grow compared to South-North movements: in 2015, 90,2 million international migrants born in developing countries resided in other countries in the Global South, while 85,3 million born in the South resided in countries in the Global North;

C.  whereas an ever-increasing number of unaccompanied minors are crossing the Mediterranean, and, despite the increasing number of rescue operations, the number of deaths in the Mediterranean is still on the rise (5 079 for 2016 as against 3 777 for 2015, according to the IOM);

D.  whereas according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2015 a record-high number of 65,3 million people – including 40,8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 21,3 million refugees – remain forcibly displaced because of conflicts, violence, human rights violations, violations of international humanitarian law and destabilisation; whereas this has occurred in addition to those displaced on account of natural disasters, inequalities, poverty, poor socio-economic prospects, climate change, the lack of serious and effective long-term development policies and the lack of political will to firmly tackle the structural problems underpinning those migration flows; whereas, according to the UNHCR, there are at least 10 million stateless persons;

E.  whereas the current data available reveal that the number of refugees has increased by more than 50 % in the last five years; whereas this staggering increase is explained by a number of elements, including the fact that the voluntary repatriation of refugees has been at its lowest level since the 1980s, that the number of refugees offered local integration possibilities remains limited, and that resettlement numbers are steady at around 100 000 annually;

F.  whereas 6,7 million refugees are living in protracted displacement situations – estimated to last about 26 years on average – with a total lack of prospects; whereas durable solutions to displacement remain unacceptably low, which makes it necessary to view forced displacement as a political and development challenge, not an exclusively humanitarian one;

G.  whereas this global challenge requires a holistic and multilateral approach based on international cooperation and synergies, as well as coordinated and concrete solutions which should not be only reactionary but anticipate possible future crises; whereas 86°% of the world’s refugees live in impoverished regions, with least developed countries hosting 26 % of the total and thus suffering from stretched capacities and further destabilisation of their own social and economic cohesion and development; whereas those countries only very rarely have instruments to protect migrants’ rights, and do not even have instruments in the field of asylum; whereas the million people who arrived in the EU in 2015 represented 0,2 % of the EU population, compared with much higher percentages (up to 20 %) in neighbouring countries or in Europe during the 1990s;

H.  whereas refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants are legally distinct categories but in reality often large-scale mixed movements of people occur because of a variety of political, economic, social, developmental, humanitarian and human rights implications that cut across borders; whereas the human dignity of all the people involved in these movements must be at the centre of all European policies concerning such matters; whereas, moreover, refugees and asylum-seekers must always be treated in accordance with their status and under no circumstances should they be denied the benefit of the rights stemming from the relevant international conventions and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; whereas the legal distinction between refugees and migrants should not be taken to indicate that migration for economic reasons or for seeking a better life is less legitimate than for fleeing persecution; whereas in most cases both political and economic rights, among other core human rights, are threatened in situations of conflict, instability or unrest and continue to be challenged as a result of forcible displacement;

I.  whereas the ongoing food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel causes the erosion of people’s resilience, aggravated by the rapid succession of crises, the absence of basic services and the conflicts in the region; whereas this situation will cause further migration;

J.  whereas at each stage of their journey, migrants are exposed to all kinds of physical and psychological dangers, including violence, exploitation, trafficking and sexual and gender-based abuse; whereas this is particularly the case for vulnerable people, such as women (e.g. women heads of household or pregnant women), children – whether unaccompanied, separated or accompanied by their families – LGBTI people, people with disabilities, people in need of urgent medical treatment and the elderly; whereas these vulnerable groups should be urgently granted humanitarian protection and access to protection and referral mechanisms, to residence status and to basic services including healthcare as part of their resettlement or while their applications for asylum are being considered in accordance with applicable law;

K.  whereas the increase in human mobility, if managed in a safe, orderly, regular, responsible and pre-emptive manner, can mitigate migrants’ and refugees’ exposure to harm, can provide significant benefits to host countries and migrants alike, as recognised by the 2030 Agenda, and can also act as a great factor of growth for host countries, including the EU; whereas these benefits are often largely underestimated; whereas the EU must produce workable solutions, including making use of foreign workers, in anticipation of increasing European population ageing, in order to guarantee a balance between persons in remunerative work and non-active populations and to meet specific labour-market needs;

L.  whereas the EU response has mobilised different internal and external instruments, but appears to have been excessively focussed on the short term and on reducing or stopping movements; whereas this short-term approach addresses neither the causes of forced displacement and migration nor the humanitarian needs of migrants; whereas further improvements are needed in the EU response on crisis management and conflict prevention tools, as violent conflicts constitute the main root cause of forced displacement;

M.  whereas the European Court of Auditors has expressed serious doubts about the effectiveness of the EU’s external migration spending, including on projects regarding the human rights of migrants; whereas the Court also found that security and border protection were the predominant element in European migration spending;

N.  whereas humanitarian aid based on needs and respect of the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, as well on compliance with international humanitarian law and the human rights provided by the Geneva Conventions and the additional protocols thereto, must be at the core of all EU external action; whereas aid independence – i.e. aid that is free from any political, economic or security considerations or any type of discrimination – must prevail;

O.  whereas the successful implementation of a human rights-based migration policy requires challenging negative perceptions of migration and the development of positive narratives to depict migration movements as an opportunity for host countries, in order to counter extremism and populism;

P.  whereas the EU has a responsibility to support its implementing partners in carrying out rapid, effective and high quality assistance and protection, and should be accountable to the populations affected; whereas, in that regard, the EU’s partners require timely and predictable funding, and decisions on the allocation of funding for changing or new priorities should allow them sufficient time for planning and mitigation measures;

Q.  whereas decentralised cooperation can help in gaining a better grasp of the needs and cultures of IDPs, migrants and refugees and raise awareness among the local population about the challenges faced by migrants in their countries of origin; whereas local and regional European governments can play a key role in helping address these root causes, through capacity-building;

R.  whereas Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union explicitly states that the ‘Union's action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles which have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, and which it seeks to advance in the wider world: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law’; whereas, according to Article 208 of the Lisbon Treaty, development assistance aims at reducing and eventually eradicating poverty in third countries;

Comprehensive and principled EU action to respond to mobility challenges

1.  Underlines that in today’s world we are witnessing an unprecedented level of human mobility, and stresses that the international community must urgently undertake the strengthening of a common response to address the challenges and opportunities that this phenomenon represents; stresses that this response must be founded on the principle of solidarity and should not focus only on a security-based approach, but be guided by the full protection of the rights and dignity of everyone forced by any circumstance to leave their homes in search of a better and safer life; emphasises that any response should pay particular attention to those who are most vulnerable and include the provision of assistance in their home country; underlines that, though their treatment is governed by separate legal frameworks, refugees and migrants have the same universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, which need to be safeguarded regardless of their legal status; recalls that the EU must abide by its values and principles in all common policies and promote them in its external relations, including those set out in Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union; highlights the need for consistency in the EU’s external policies and other policies with an external dimension;

2.  Stresses that this high level of human mobility arises from multiple complex causes that require evidence-based decisions to differentiate its elements and develop targeted policy responses; underlines the need for the EU and its Member States to take this current reality into account and to develop a new approach to the movement of people based on real data and the EU’s interests, by fostering the resilience of people and increasing their access to basic services, notably education, and their integration and contribution to local contexts by providing opportunities for employment and self-employment;

3.  Stresses that international migration can contribute to socioeconomic development, as it has done historically, and that the narrative employed in relation to this must be a positive one that promotes a genuine and objective understanding of the issue and of the related common benefits, in order to counter xenophobic, populist and nationalistic discourses; welcomes, therefore the ‘Together’ campaign launched by the UN to reduce negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants and calls on the EU institutions to fully cooperate with the UN in support of this campaign; highlights the need to adopt global, European, national and local policies focused on the medium and long term and not exclusively guided by immediate political pressures or national electoral considerations; stresses that these policies must be coherent, meaningful, inclusive and flexible with the aim of regulating migration as a regular human phenomenon and addressing legitimate concerns regarding border management, social protection for vulnerable groups and the social inclusion of refugees and migrants;

4.  Stresses that the humanitarian aid system is extremely overstretched and that its financial resources will never be sufficient to respond to forced displacement crises, particularly given the protracted nature of a majority of them; takes note therefore of the new policy framework outlined in the Commission communication on ‘Forced Displacement and Development’ of April 2016 as a step in the right direction and calls on the EEAS and the Commission to implement its content within the new Partnership Framework with third countries; notes the importance of a comprehensive and more sustainable approach on migration, including the promotion of closer humanitarian-development links and the need to engage with different partners – regional actors, governments, local authorities, the diaspora, civil society, including refugee and migrant organisations, local religious organisations and relevant NGOs, and the private sector – to develop targeted evidence-based strategies to tackle this challenge while recognising that humanitarian aid is not a crisis management tool as stated in the EU Consensus for Humanitarian Aid;

5.  Stresses that EU development cooperation should continue to address and effectively tackle the root causes of forced displacement and migration – namely armed conflict, persecution on any grounds, gender-based violence, bad governance, poverty, lack of economic opportunities and climate change – by combating state fragility, by promoting peace and security, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconciliation processes, justice, and equity, and by strengthening institutions, administrative capacity, democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 16 in the new 2030 Agenda and the principles laid down in the United Nations Charter and international law;

6.  Highlights the need to focus on the socioeconomic aspects of the migration phenomenon, to carry out the necessary analyses per country of the root causes of forced displacement and migration, and to encourage the countries of origin to adopt and implement measures and policies that lead to the creation of decent jobs and real economic opportunities in order to make migration a choice and not a necessity; calls on the EU to continue policies that seek to reduce and ultimately eradicate poverty, combat inequality and food insecurity, promote economic development, fight corruption and strengthen basic public services; notes that a successful policy should recognise the need to create economic resilience in both host and origin countries; underscores the need to improve policy coherence for development (PCD);

7.  Underlines that jobs and economic opportunities are critical to mitigating the impact of displacement-induced vulnerabilities; calls on the EU to help migrants and refugees to move to places offering such opportunities, to help create opportunities in their place of exile (including by removing the barriers and obstacles impeding access to the labour market) and to help them develop new skills more attuned to the needs of the local labour market;

8.  Welcomes the EU’s commitment to humanitarian assistance – as the world’s largest donor – with the aim of improving the living conditions of refugees; urges the EU and its Member States to fulfil the pledges already made and to increase their financial commitments in line with the rise in humanitarian needs; notes that the humanitarian response will always be the first element of any response to displacement crises; stresses that international law and the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence need to remain the guiding framework for the EU’s humanitarian response to refugee and forced displacement crises;

9.  Recognises that the rights and dignity of millions of fellow human beings will be further diminished if they languish in refugee camps or on the margins of cities without access to basic needs, livelihoods and income opportunities;

10.  Stresses the importance of recognising the gender dimension of migration, which encompasses not only women’s vulnerability to all kinds of abuse, but also the multiple reasons for migration, their role in responding to emergencies, their socioeconomic contributions and their active participation in conflict resolution and prevention, as well as in post-conflict processes and the rebuilding of a democratic society; notes that a focus on women’s empowerment and their greater role as decision-makers is central to addressing the deeper causes of forced displacement and to ensuring respect for women’s rights and their autonomy at every stage of the migration process; reiterates that it is necessary to apply a gender and age perspective to EU policies on refugee and migrant movements;

11.  Calls for increased cooperation with the UN and other actors, including increased financial contributions for UNHCR and UNRWA; stresses, in this context, the need to improve living conditions in refugee camps, especially in terms of health and education, and to gradually end dependence on humanitarian assistance in existing protracted crises by fostering resilience and enabling the displaced to live in dignity as contributors to their host countries, until their possible voluntary return or resettlement;

12.  Highlights the important steps taken by the EU to tackle the external dimension of the migration crisis, particularly the fight against organised crime responsible for migrant smuggling and human trafficking and the enhanced cooperation with the countries of origin and transit;

13.  Stresses the need to establish a framework and make appropriate arrangements in countries of origin for receiving vulnerable and marginalised returned migrants in a dignified way and enabling them to integrate successfully in socio-cultural terms;

14.  Recalls that vulnerable groups, including women, minors (both accompanied by their families and unaccompanied), people with disabilities, the elderly and LGBTI people, are particularly exposed to abuse at all stages of the migration process; recalls that women and girls are, in addition, at great risk of gender and sexual-based violence and discrimination, even once they have reached places deemed secure; calls for these groups to be given special assistance and greater humanitarian protection as part of their resettlement or integration process, and to be prioritised in gender-sensitive reception procedures with a greater adherence to minimum standards and more efficient family reunification provisions; calls for particular safeguards for vulnerable people against violence and discrimination during the asylum process, and for them to be provided with access to residence status and basic services, including health care and education, in accordance with applicable law; calls on the European Union to develop training programmes in its cooperation with third countries related to the specific needs of vulnerable refugees and migrants;

15.  Emphasises that children make up a significant proportion of migrants and refugees, and specific procedures must be developed and put in place to ensure their protection in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; calls on host countries to ensure that refugee children are given full access to education and to promote as far as possible their integration and inclusion in national education systems; calls also on the humanitarian and development communities to pay more attention to the education and training of teachers from both displaced and host communities, and on international donors to prioritise education when responding to refugee crises, through programmes aimed at involving and psychologically supporting migrant children, as well as promoting learning of the host country’s language in order to ensure the better integration of refugee children; welcomes the financial support to provide more education and training for Syrian children and the recent increase in the education spending share of the EU humanitarian aid budget from 4 % to 6 %, making the EU a leader in supporting education projects in emergency situations around the world; calls for greater effectiveness in the implementation of this new funding;

16.  Recognises statelessness as a significant human rights challenge; asks the Commission and the EEAS to fight statelessness in all EU external action, in particular by addressing discrimination in nationality laws on the basis of gender, religion or a minority status, by promoting children’s right to a nationality and by supporting the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) campaign aimed at ending statelessness by 2024; condemns the restrictions and prohibitions on persons leaving or returning that are imposed in certain states, and the effects of statelessness on access to rights; calls on national governments and parliaments to abolish punitive legal frameworks that treat migration as an offence;

17.  Underlines that, in line with EU principles, one overall objective of the EU’s external migration policies should be to establish a multilateral governance regime for international migration, for which the recent UN High-Level Meeting is a first step;

Better managed international migration: a global responsibility

18.  Expresses strong concern about the recent decision by the US administration to temporarily ban citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US and to temporarily suspend the US refugee system; believes that this kind of discriminatory decision fuels anti-immigration and xenophobic discourses, may not be in accordance with the principal international law instruments, such as the Geneva Convention, and can seriously undermine current global efforts towards a fair international sharing of responsibilities for refugees; calls on the EU and its Member States to take a strong common stance in defending the international protection system and the legal security of all affected populations, particularly EU citizens;

19.  Welcomes the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants of 19 September 2016 and the hosting of the Leaders’ Summit by the USA, as migration flows are a global responsibility which demand an effective global response and enhanced cooperation between all stakeholders to achieve a sustainable solution fully respecting human rights; welcomes the outcome of these summits as the expression of a genuine political commitment of unprecedented force, and hopes that this will urgently initiate the path towards a truly global response and the international sharing of responsibilities for refugees and large migration movements throughout the world; deeply regrets however the lack of specific pledges or legally binding commitments in terms of aid or reform, which are needed to close the current gap between rhetoric and reality; calls on all the parties involved to ensure continued, urgent and effective political engagement and cooperation, the exchange of knowledge and experience with partner countries, civil society organisations and local authorities, and funding and concrete acts of solidarity in support of host countries; underlines the need for more coordination between the EU and its international partners at UN level to address migration challenges; calls on the EU and its Member States to take the lead in international efforts, particularly as regards ensuring that the agreements – including the future UN compacts on refugees and on safe, orderly and regular migration – are swiftly put into practice, and by establishing follow-up mechanisms as needed;

20.  Stresses that global cooperation on migration and mobility should be built upon regional and sub-regional frameworks; calls on the EU to strengthen cooperation plans with regional organisations such as the African Union, League of Arab States and Gulf Cooperation Council to also promote the management of intra-regional mobility, and underlines the need to encourage these regional organisations to fully engage in this cooperation; notes that the economic integration of sub-regional entities, particularly in Africa, offers a further means of promoting a joint-management approach and encouraging South-South initiatives on migration management and mobility; urges the EU to seek a stronger and more credible role for the African Union in preventing political crises in Africa;

21.  Underlines that the EU can benefit from closer cooperation and synergy with multilateral development banks and specialised UN bodies, in particular the UNHCR and the now UN-related International Organisation for Migration (IOM); takes note of the recent ideas put forward by the World Bank on the situation of forcibly displaced people and welcomes the recognition of the need to develop mitigation and asylum policies that support forcibly displaced people to integrate and, at same time, oblige the host communities to meet their development goals;

22.  Underlines that the resettlement of forcibly displaced persons is a pressing responsibility of the international community, in which UNHCR plays an important role; calls on EU Member States to fully respect their own pledges; considers it crucial to implement as a matter of urgency a coordinated and sustainable response that ensures fair and accessible procedures for people in need of international protection to be granted asylum in the European Union and other receiving countries, instead of leaving the responsibility primarily to the front-line states or countries neighbouring conflict zones; highlights the fact that financial support is outpaced by the scope and scale of displacement, compounded by the lack of appropriate and effective solutions to address the root causes of this forced displacement;

23.  Highlights the international law obligations regarding refugees and calls on all countries which have not yet done so to ratify and implement the Refugee Convention and its Protocol; calls on all countries to expand protection to internally displaced persons, as is the case in mechanisms such as the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention);

24.  Underlines that the concepts of safe countries and safe countries of origin should not prevent individual assessments of asylum applications; calls for the collection of specialised, detailed and regularly updated information on the rights of people, especially women, children, disabled and LGBTI people, in the countries of origin of asylum-seekers, including those countries which are considered to be safe;

25.  Stresses that everything possible must be done to guarantee refugees a humane living environment within Member States and in refugee camps, particularly with regard to healthcare, the opportunity to receive an education, and the opportunity to work;

26.  Underlines the need to boost opportunities for education; calls for the harmonisation of qualification recognition policies and the protection of migrant workers’ rights and social security coverage in line with core ILO conventions; calls for the signature and ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families;

27.  Considers that temporary or subsidiary protection based on the assumption that refugees will return home as early as possible creates a lack of prospects and of opportunities for integration; recalls the importance of the positive role that refugees can play in the reconstruction of their societies upon returning to their countries or from abroad;

28.  Condemns the dramatic numbers of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea and expresses its concern about the growing numbers of human rights abuses perpetrated against migrants and asylum-seekers on their route to Europe;

29.  Voices serious concern at the number of unaccompanied minors who have disappeared; calls on the Commission and the Member States to set up a database containing details of the unaccompanied minors who have entered Member States;

30.  Stresses the need to find durable diplomatic and political solutions to violent conflicts and to invest in effective early warning and conflict prevention mechanisms to reduce them in the future; calls for the EU to initiate concerted diplomatic efforts with international partners and key regional powers and organisations in order to take a stronger and more proactive role in the field of conflict prevention, mediation, resolution and reconciliation and to secure the right of people to stay in their home countries and regions; underlines that this should be at the core of the activities of the EEAS which should be endowed with the necessary resources and powers to make that possible, including in terms of budget and staffing; points out that the EU delegations and the special representatives have a fundamental role to play in this respect; stresses that the response to forced displacement and migration should be needs and rights-based and take account of the population’s vulnerabilities and should not be limited to humanitarian assistance but also involve development and civil society actors;

31.  Calls on the EU and Member States to take their responsibilities seriously concerning the challenge of climate change, to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement and to take a leading role in recognising the impact of climate change on mass displacement, as the scale and frequency of displacements are likely to increase; calls in particular on the EU to put sufficient means at the disposal of countries affected by climate change in order to help them to adapt to its consequences and to mitigate its effects; emphasises that this must not occur at the expense of traditional development cooperation aimed at reducing poverty; takes the view that persons displaced by the effects of climate change should be given a special international protection status which takes account of the specific nature of their situation;

32.  Commends the work, despite all the difficulties and dangers they face, of local and international NGOs and civil society organisations in delivering urgent and – in many cases – life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable in the countries of origin, transit or destination of refugees and migrants; points out that this work has, in many cases, filled the gap left by states and the international community at large;

33.  Considers it crucial to overcome the current narrative on refugees who are depicted only as a burden, and stresses the positive contributions they can make, if given the chance, to their host communities; recommends that refugees be involved in the definition and design of the political answers that affect them directly, and in creating or strengthening the necessary programmes; calls on the European institutions and agencies to launch traineeships within their administrations especially targeted at young graduate refugees legally residing within the European Union as a way to lead by example and demonstrate the benefits of investing in the young generation;

EU external action and partnerships with third countries

34.  Stresses that EU external action should be peace-oriented, proactive and forward-looking, instead of mainly reactive, with changing objectives in response to new crises; supports closer cooperation between the EU and third countries in the fields of security, education and information exchanges, in order to improve migration management and avoid new crises; recalls that the migration phenomenon stems from a complex set of causes such as a growing population, poverty, lack of opportunities and insufficient job creation, political instability, the violation of human rights, political oppression, persecution, military conflicts and other forms of violence, and climate change; recalls that addressing these problems can reduce the drivers of forced displacement and migration in the first place; underlines the essential need to reinforce policy coherence at two levels: between internal and external EU policies, and – within external action itself – between enlargement policy, the European neighbourhood policy and bilateral relations with EU strategic partners, as well as development and trade policies; considers that trade policy with developing countries should be mutually beneficial, while taking proper account of the economic disparities between these countries and the EU; emphasises the importance of the Commissioners’ Group on External Action in coordinating EU migration actions at the highest political level and giving impetus to an ambitious EU common migration policy;

35.  Stresses the need to put in place a comprehensive approach to external conflict and crises by mapping the direct and indirect economic, environmental, social, fiscal and political impacts of displacement on third countries in order to better adjust development policies to their needs;

36.  Points out that the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), put forward on 18 November 2015, includes plans to involve third countries that are neighbours of the EU’s neighbourhood partner countries in the context of extended cooperation frameworks; urges, therefore, that thematic frameworks be set up to offer cooperation between the Union, the Southern neighbourhood partner countries and key regional players, especially in Africa, on regional issues such as security, energy and the management of refugees and migratory flows;

37.  Reiterates the 'more for more' principle as the basis of the EU’s foreign policy under which the EU should develop ever closer (financial) partnerships with those countries making progress in the field of democratic reform; underlines that a focus on improving the quality of life of people in third countries should be one of the priorities of the EU’s foreign policy;

38.  Calls on the VP/HR, in cooperation with the Member States, to work on building state, economic and societal resilience, in particular within the EU’s neighbours and in wider surrounding regions, including through the European Neighbourhood Policy and other EU instruments;

39.  Condemns the increasing criminalisation of migration at the expense of the human rights of the people concerned, and the ill-treatment and arbitrary detention of refugees in third countries; calls on the VP/HR and the EEAS to address this issue, including in the course of its human right dialogues and in justice, freedom and security subcommittees, and to develop protection capabilities in third countries of transit;

40.  Calls for the establishment of a genuine, human rights-based common European migration policy based on the principle of solidarity among Member States as enshrined in Article 80 TFEU, with the securing of the EU’s external borders and adequate legal channels for safe and orderly migration, including circular migration, as a sustainable long-term policy to promote growth and cohesion within the EU, in order to set a clear framework for EU relations with third countries; calls on the Commission and the Council to strengthen the European Blue Card scheme to better manage economic migration; warns that any policy that might contradict the EU’s core values, as enshrined in Article 8 TEU and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, would damage the EU’s credibility and its capacity to influence developments internationally; notes that the EU’s external migration policies need agreements with third countries to be guided by long-term objectives with the aim of establishing durable partnerships; recalls that any such partnerships should be based on dialogue, common interests and mutual ownership; welcomes the EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (2015-2020) which envisages closer cooperation with third countries, but underlines that the implementation of a common EU legal migration policy would play a crucial role in breaking the business model of smugglers and tackling human trafficking; calls on the Commission to bring the existing EU acquis fully in line with the UN Smuggling Protocol and to ensure adequate protection for migrants who are victims of violence or abuse;

41.  Calls for all agreements concluded with third countries to guarantee that the rights of migrants, whatever their status, are in keeping with international law, and calls for the adoption of relevant legislation, including asylum legislation, stating, in particular, that the irregular crossing of a border cannot be deemed to be grounds for imprisoning someone;

42.  Reiterates the importance of cooperation with third countries in the fight against human trafficking and smugglers so that networks can be tackled as far upstream as possible; stresses in this regard the need to strengthen judicial and police cooperation with those countries in order to identify and dismantle the networks; recalls, furthermore, the need to build up the capacities of those countries so that they can pursue and sanction those responsible in an effective manner; calls, therefore, for cooperation between the European Union, the Member States, Europol, Eurojust and the third countries concerned to be encouraged; reaffirms that measures taken against human trafficking should not adversely affect the rights of victims of trafficking, migrants, refugees and persons in need of international protection; calls for an immediate end to the detention of victims of human trafficking and children;

43.  Points out that human trafficking and smuggling networks make full use of the internet in carrying out their criminal activities, and that it is therefore vital for the European Union to step up its action, particularly within Europol and the Internet Referral Unit, as well as its cooperation with third countries in this regard;

44.  Points out that traffickers may use legal migration routes to bring their victims to Europe; considers that the criteria that third countries are required to meet prior to any visa liberalisation agreement with the European Union ought specifically to include the cooperation of those third countries in combating human trafficking; calls on the Commission to pay special attention to both that issue and the issue of the fight against smugglers in all dialogue relating to negotiations on such agreements;

45.  Welcomes the approach that the EU should set itself clear priorities and measurable objectives for any common policies and especially in dealing with third countries; underlines that Parliament should participate in the setting up of these clear objectives; considers that EU external action based on a common approach will be the only way to ensure a stronger and effective policy; calls for real unified and coordinated action between the EU and the Member States, as unilateral initiatives – whether in internal or external affairs – can undermine the viability and success of our common policies and interests;

46.  Calls for better protection of the EU’s external borders with the goal of preventing irregular entry into the EU, tackling human smuggling and preventing loss of life at sea; welcomes, in this context, the creation of the European Border and Coast Guard, building on Frontex, as this will help to manage migration more effectively; stresses, nevertheless, the need for more financial and technical help for border protection for all South-eastern EU Member States, EU candidate countries and other partner countries in the region; regrets, in particular, the lack of parliamentary scrutiny over the external activities of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and calls therefore for the agency to systematically report to Parliament on the implementation of its working arrangements and joint operations with third countries in conjunction with civil society;

47.  Stresses that the opening up of safe and legal channels to asylum-seekers and potential migrants would allow them to use formal entry and exit channels, thus denying business to human traffickers and associated organised crime networks; stresses that the lack of legal avenues for migration often leads to an increase in irregular methods of mobility, which translates in turn into greater vulnerability and the risk of abuse during all stages of the migratory and refugee movement; calls, in this respect, for the urgent, specific and tangible establishment of organised, safe and legal avenues to the EU as a whole through, inter alia , more effective family reunification arrangements and resettlement programmes; reiterates also its call on the Member States to make use of any existing possibilities to provide humanitarian visas, particularly for vulnerable persons and especially unaccompanied minors, at Union embassies and consular offices in countries of origin or transit; calls for the Common European Asylum System to also allow requests for asylum, as well as the processing of asylum claims, to take place outside the EU or at the EU’s external borders; calls for EU support in setting up humanitarian corridors when dealing with severe refugee and displacement crises, with the aim of providing humanitarian aid and ensuring that the most basic needs of these refugees are covered and their human rights are respected; notes the Commission’s proposal regarding the establishment of an EU framework on resettlement, but calls for work to continue at EU level on the creation and strengthening of legal routes that would be complementary to resettlement;

48.  Takes note of the new Partnership Framework with third countries, viewing it as a signal of real political action, especially as it aims, with its two-pronged approach, to include short-term objectives, such as saving lives in the Mediterranean and increasing the rate of returns to countries of origin and transit, as well as long-term objectives, such as tackling root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement through reinforced EU support to third countries for capacity building and by advancing their political, social and economic situation; stresses that the success of the approach outlined in the communication of June 2016 depends on the EU’s capacity to offer real, commonly agreed incentives to third countries of transit and origin, and is concerned by the limited offer mainly focused on border management or Assisted Voluntary Return schemes, which – while essential and needed – constitute only a short-term partial response to an extremely complex situation; stresses that the new partnership frameworks must not become the only pillar of EU action on migration and points to the need to balance and complement this response, focusing on the development of local economies, qualification and regional mobility and improved levels of protection in countries of transit and origin;

49.  Recalls the importance of a balanced approach in the new Partnership Framework; warns against any quantitative approach in the new Partnership Framework and the related ‘migration compacts’, which would consider the ‘measurable increases in the number and rate of returns’ as the EU’s main goal; points out that the number of returns clearly depends on the nature of migration flows and on the situations in the countries of origin; stresses that the short-term objectives of the compacts should focus on how best to address the challenges faced by third countries, including by developing legal migration channels, as a result of which the levels of irregular migration and death tolls in the Mediterranean will decrease; calls for the scholarships available for young people from third countries to be increased; welcomes the fact that EU programmes on return and reintegration support capacity building and the improvement of migration management in the countries of transit and origin; calls for an assessment of the implementation of the EU’s return policy; points out the need for third countries to meet their obligations under readmission agreements;

50.  Stresses the need to build close partnerships with EU candidate and potential candidate countries from the Western Balkans region on issues of migration and to provide the necessary support and cooperation in managing migration flows in the region;

51.  Calls for mobility partnerships and circular migration agreements to facilitate the movement of third-country nationals between their countries and the EU and to sustain the socio-economic development of both parties;

52.  Stresses that, in the framework of its training activities and exchange of best practices with third countries, the EU should focus on relevant EU and international law and practice, particularly on fundamental rights, access to international protection and search and rescue operations, as well as better identification of and assistance to vulnerable persons; believes that this applies in particular to training in border management, which, in keeping with international law, should in no way be used as a way of preventing people from leaving their country;

53.  Calls for the utmost vigilance to be shown as regards the treatment of migrants who are sent back to their country of origin or to a third country; takes the view that any dialogue on return and readmission – particularly in respect of readmission agreements – should systematically address the issue of the safe return and reintegration of migrants; emphasises that migrants should enjoy full security and protection against degrading and inhumane treatment, including in detention centres, and that the EU must support reintegration programmes; points out that no one should forcibly be sent or returned to countries in which their life or liberty may be threatened on grounds of their origin, religion, nationality, membership of a certain social group or political opinions, or where they face a risk of torture, degrading treatment and human rights violations in general; points out that mass expulsions and refoulement are prohibited under international law;

54.  Encourages those responsible in the field of foreign and development policy to ensure that people who are returned are treated properly and that their integrity is preserved; calls on the Commission and the Member States to draw up flanking programmes to ensure that practical assistance programmes are carried out in the countries of origin that comprise both vocational training measures and programmes aimed at building economic structures, including start-ups and small businesses, alongside professional and academic exchange programmes with the Member States;

55.  Underlines that partnership agreements such as mobility partnerships should ensure that migrants can be safely received in countries of transit and origin, in a manner entirely consistent with their fundamental rights; stresses that Parliament has a clear say in EU readmission and mobility agreements, as stated in the Lisbon Treaty (Article 79(3) TFEU), and specifically emphasises that Parliament must give its prior consent to the conclusion of association and similar agreements (Article 218(6)(v) TFEU) and must be immediately and fully informed at all stages of the procedure (Article 218(10) TFEU);

56.  Reiterates Parliament’s position, as expressed in its resolution of 12 April 2016, favouring EU readmission agreements over bilateral agreements concluded by Member States with third countries; points out that a new European document for returns has recently been drawn up, and stresses the need to systematically promote the recognition of that document in any new readmission agreement;

57.  Welcomes the high-level dialogues carried out by the VP/HR and the Commission, and in some cases by Member States on behalf of the EU as a whole, as good and effective practices fostering coordination; stresses that coordination should be undertaken by the Commission and the EEAS; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to keep Parliament regularly informed of these dialogues and to report on the exact operational implementation of the Rabat and Khartoum processes and the priority initiatives agreed at the Valletta Summit; points out again that the shared ownership of partnerships concluded between the EU and third countries is a prerequisite for the success of EU migration policy; regrets that the packages designed for priority countries as part of the new Partnership Framework, by the Commission, the EEAS and the Member States, have neither been presented, debated, nor endorsed by the elected representatives of European citizens; condemns this lack of transparency and demands the involvement of Parliament in the development of the migration compacts and the scrutiny of their implementation, which must ensure the full respect of human rights, international humanitarian law and the EU Treaty commitments on development;

58.  Notes that fulfilling the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires that the EU and partner countries integrate well-managed migration dynamics into their respective sustainable development strategies; calls, in this connection, on the Commission and the EEAS to help transit countries draw up migrant integration strategies and set up asylum systems with high standards of protection;

59.  Underlines that EU assistance and cooperation must be tailored to achieving development and growth in third countries – thereby also fostering growth within the EU – and to reducing and eventually eradicating poverty in line with Article 208 of the TFEU, and not to incentivising third countries to cooperate on readmission of irregular migrants, to forcibly deterring people from moving, or to stopping flows to Europe; recalls that both donors and the governments of aid-receiving countries must work to improve the effectiveness of aid; notes that migration flows are an international reality and should not become an indicator of the performance of the EU’s external migration policies, and that agreements with third countries need to be guided by long-term objectives and by establishing durable partnerships and the respect for human rights;

60.  Stresses the importance of consulting civil society in the framework of all the EU’s external policies, paying particular attention to full participation, transparency and proper dissemination of information on all migration-related policies and processes;

61.  Calls on the Commission to cooperate closely with NGOs and experts working in the countries of origin of asylum-seekers in order to map out the best possible ways of assisting individuals and social groups in the most vulnerable situations; calls on the Commission to involve NGOs and experts in the countries of origin of asylum-seekers to find the best functioning conflict-prevention mechanism and tools;

62.  Stresses that in order to avoid duplication of effort, maximise the impact and effectiveness of global aid and ensure that the main focus is on development, the Commission should maintain a strong dialogue with local and international NGOs, civil society and local governments in partner countries, as well as with the UN, on the design, implementation and evaluation of migration, displacement and refugee policies;

63.  Draws attention to the intention to revise development cooperation programming documents to deliver on the new migration compacts; stresses that this revision needs to be carried out in line with development effectiveness principles and in dialogue with partner countries, European and local civil society organisations and the private sector; calls for Parliament to be fully involved at all stages of the revision, including programming documents under the European Development Fund (EDF); calls on the Member States to overhaul their development assistance, in line with the 0,7 % of GNI commitment, with a view to achieving the sustainable development goals;

64.  Calls for a balanced discussion to take place between the EU and its external partners; recommends that the EU and its Member States commit to providing increased legal migration opportunities to the EU, be it for seeking protection, for employment and educational purposes, or for family reunification;

65.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to take all the necessary measures to promote the faster, cheaper and safer transfer of migrant remittances in both source and recipient countries, including through a reduction in transaction costs as stipulated in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of 19 September 2016;

66.  Is extremely concerned by the continuing conflict in Syria, in which violence against civilians, attacks on civilian infrastructure and hospitals and violations of international humanitarian law over the past five years have led to the forced displacement of half of the population; calls on the EU and the Member States to improve means dedicated to conflict prevention and crisis management and to play a greater role in conflict resolution in the EU’s neighbourhood and particularly in the Syrian conflict; expresses its full support to Syria’s neighbouring countries, which continue to demonstrate extraordinary solidarity in hosting millions of refugees despite limited resources; recalls that a large number of these refugees continue to live in deprived conditions with little or no access to legal recognition, health and education systems or job markets; is deeply concerned by the fate and the humanitarian situation of the 75 000 people trapped at the Jordanian border in the informal Rukban camp; calls on the EU and its Member States to continue and step up cooperation and dialogue with Lebanon and Jordan and to increase financial support through both international organisations and European channels, as well as with other third host countries, to ensure firstly that refugee populations can enjoy decent living conditions and access to basic services, and are granted rights to free movement and work opportunities, and secondly that funds reach their final objectives; stresses that this should be coupled with assistance to the host communities in order to strengthen their economic resilience;

67.  Notes that, following the implementation of the political agreement reached by the Member States and Turkey on 18 March 2016, the number of people arriving in frontline Member States has decreased; underlines the concerns regarding this political agreement as stated publicly by international humanitarian organisations, particularly with regard to the respect of international law and human rights; is concerned about the situation in Turkey and the impact this might have on it being considered as a safe country; stresses that visa liberalisation for Turkey must not be perceived as a reward for cooperating with the EU in the area of migration, but as result of strictly meeting all the benchmarks put in place by the EU; warns against the replication of this model in other countries as it is necessary to take into consideration each country and region’s own singularities;

68.  Is extremely concerned by the human rights situation in Turkey, where basic rights such as the freedom of expression or of assembly are constantly violated, where the population in the South-East of the country is under attack by its own government, where over 30 000 public servants have been sacked on political grounds, and where more than 130 media outlets have been closed down by the authorities;

69.  Regrets the lack of consultation and transparency in the formulation of the recently signed Joint Way Forward on Migration Issues between Afghanistan and the EU, which is mainly focused on readmissions and contemplates unlimited returns of Afghan citizens, whether on a voluntary basis or not; is worried about the possible consequences for Afghan asylum-seekers, who in 2016 constitute the second-largest national group in the EU applying for asylum; recalls that returns can only take place after due consideration of each individual case in full respect of their rights, and calls on the EU and the Member States to allocate the necessary resources to speed up current administrative and judicial procedures;

70.  Deeply regrets than in the EU migration policy framework and refugee movements response, the EU and its Members States have opted for the conclusion of agreements with third countries, which avoid the parliamentary scrutiny attached to the Community method; calls on the Commission to include at least a biannual evaluation mechanism for any political declaration signed with third countries in order to assess the continuation or conclusion of these agreements; stresses the need for the inclusion of human rights safeguards in any agreements concluded within the framework of migration and refugee policies;

71.  Stresses that the EU policy towards Africa is one of the key elements for stability and development in the coming years and decades; considers that the belt of countries running through the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa, as well as areas of instability to its north and south, should remain in the EU’s focus; highlights the link between development, security and migration and calls for closer cooperation in conflict prevention and management, as well as in addressing the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration, in promoting resilience and economic and equal opportunities and in preventing human rights abuses; considers that the EU must play a central role in the stabilisation of Libya, also as a means to stop the ongoing human rights abuses affecting Libyans, refugees and migrants;

Appropriate means for action

72.  Acknowledges the Commission’s proposal for a new and ambitious External Investment Plan (EIP) to mobilise investments in the EU’s neighbouring countries and developing third countries, provided that the plan is implemented in a fully transparent manner and the investments help to improve conditions in the beneficiary countries, combatting corruption and bad governance; notes that the proposed European Fund for Sustainable Development will be partly financed through the European Development Fund (EDF), the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) allocations, which constitutes the use of development funds to foster private sector investment; considers that supporting private sectors in third countries while fostering an environment of good governance and business practices should not be presented as a new measure and should be further enhanced; calls on the Commission to ensure coherence between external financing instruments – for example with the DCI and EDF – and projects in order to focus the EU’s assistance on priorities and to avoid the scattering of funds and efforts; stresses the need for systematic additionality, both in the choice of policies supported and in their financial implementation;

73.  Underlines that the sum of EUR 3,35 billion earmarked for the new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) as part of the EIP corresponds to over 5 % of the total funds available from the EDF, DCI and ENI under the multiannual financial framework (MFF); calls on the Commission to provide more details regarding this estimation and the expected impact, and to indicate on what basis it expects Member States, other donors and private partners to contribute up to EUR 44 billion to it, when some Member States have yet to contribute to current Trust Funds;

74.  Recommends that adequate resources should be allocated to measures specially tailored to the time spent by refugees and IDPs under temporary protection arrangements, which needs to be a period full of opportunities for growth and training for all generations, with education being provided for children, vocational training for young adults and jobs for adults; believes this will ensure that, when it becomes possible for them to return home, these people will be ‘regenerated’ and able to lend their countries new impetus, instead of having been worn down by years of waiting with no real prospects;

75.  Welcomes the Commission proposal on the revision of the MFF, with regard in particular to endowing the EU budget with larger crisis instruments; expects that the proposed revision of the financial rules will increase accountability and sound financial management; emphasises that tackling the root causes of migration flows also entails supporting third countries in capacity building;

76.  Underlines that the EU has to provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies (Article 311 TFEU), as without sufficient funding the EU cannot perform the functions it is expected to, nor meet the expectations of the European people; underlines the human, political and economic costs of inaction; notes that the mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) – or the negotiation of the next MFF at the latest – provides a necessary opportunity for the revision of the external instruments related to migration, and also to increase the EU’s budget in such a manner that it would allow an end to ad hoc instruments and restore the unity of the budget; strongly emphasises the need for Parliament to be given a major oversight role in this area as well; deeply regrets that the Commission did not propose to increase the budgetary means for external action – a budget heading which was already relatively low – but instead is redirecting development instruments towards migration, thus diverting from other priorities;

77.  Notes that refocusing the EU’s external financing instruments towards security, peace building and conflict resolution, migration and border management poses new challenges in relation to the initial objectives and principles of these instruments;

78.  Underlines that addressing new and chronic disasters and vulnerabilities requires long-term predictable investment and compliance with the new sustainable development agenda, mainly by promoting joint risk assessment, planning and financing between humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and climate change actors;

79.  Believes that upholding the rule of law and combating corruption must be central planks of EU action in countries of origin; stresses the importance of proper checks being carried out on the use of funding for third countries, in order to make sure that it is used for its intended purpose;

80.  Notes that the creation of trust funds and ad hoc financial instruments, while helping to pool resources and bringing speed and flexibility to EU action, can also put at risk development effectiveness principles and undermines the unity of the budget and Parliament’s budgetary authority; calls therefore for Parliament to be given a greater supervisory role in the use of these instruments, including – but not limited to – by being part of the steering committees; recalls that the effectiveness of trust funds depends heavily on Member States’ readiness to contribute and their full involvement; urges that such instruments be brought under Parliament’s oversight and calls for guidelines for their incorporation into the EU’s budget and the scope of its powers;

81.  Points out that EUR 3,6 billion was supposed to be paid into the emergency trust fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa, launched at the Valletta Summit; calls on the Member States to match the EUR 1,8 billion released by the Commission;

82.  Call for the trust funds to follow the same rules and regulations applying to EU traditional funding instruments in relation to transparency, equal treatment of partners and capacity to provide predictable and timely funding to partners;

83.  Expresses concerns that the 2017 EU draft budget foresees an increase in the management of migration flows or internal security initiatives at the expense of EU cohesion funds and action in the world;

84.  Calls on the EU to carefully and systematically evaluate the impact of the actions funded on migration, displacement and refugees based on the quality of delivery of humanitarian aid and development aid;

85.  Stresses that targeted support based on the local situation is a key element of an efficient and results-oriented policy, and that such support should be negotiated with third countries; calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop clear and measurable objectives to be implemented by the financial instruments, including Trust Funds, in a coherent and coordinated way;

86.  Welcomes the use of common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions such as EUCAP Sahel Niger and EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia, which should be further strengthened as a means of protecting the EU’s external borders and preventing the trafficking of human beings and smuggling of migrants; supports the cooperation with NATO and EU initiatives such as Europol’s Joint Operational Team (JOT) Mare to gather and share intelligence and fight smugglers, while underlining that global mobility should not be considered a threat but an opportunity; recalls in this context that saving lives at sea and ensuring the rights of migrants must be of paramount importance in all these operations; recommends the use of CSDP tools for early warning (forecasting), mediation and conflict resolution, while stressing the importance of starting to plan for durable solutions as early as possible in conflict situations;

87.  Recalls the UN-EU Strategic Partnership on Peacekeeping and Crisis Management and its priorities for 2015-2018, as agreed in March 2015; encourages further work by the EU in order to take account of the key role of other organisations and countries and to facilitate Member State contributions; deplores the fact that only 11 out of 28 EU Member States made pledges at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping held on 28 September 2015; calls on the EU Member States to significantly increase their military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping missions;

88.  Welcomes and supports the initiatives of the European Investment Bank to sustain economic resilience in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans through projects that lead to job creation, economic resilience and poverty reduction in line with the European Union’s external policies;

89.  Urges the Commission and the EEAS to provide Parliament and the public, at the earliest opportunity, with a detailed overview of the various funding instruments and programmes – and how they fit together with Member State programmes – in the 16 priority countries(6) with which the EU engages in high-level dialogues on migration, and under the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM); is deeply concerned that among the priority countries, there are repressive regimes which are themselves the main cause of refugees fleeing their countries; recalls that the GAMM remains the overarching framework of the EU external migration and asylum policy, but notes that recent policy initiatives have made limited reference to it and calls for a clarification of the GAMM’s relevance in the current context, as well as a review of the GAMM in line with the IOM’s recommendations;

90.  Welcomes the deployment of European Migration Liaison Officers to priority countries as a first step towards reinforcing the EU’s cooperation with third countries in the field of migration; recommends the reinforcement of staff dealing with Justice and Home Affairs issues within the EU Delegations with a clear mandate to develop coordination within the Member States;

91.  Underlines the need for a decentralised approach, rather than carrying on with a centralised approach from Brussels, by making better use of the EU Delegations – which have in a very short period of time become a tool of great value – and applying greater flexibility and shorter programming periods, especially for countries at risk; calls for the appointment of regional coordinators with the capacity to lead on development and cooperation and external relations in order to ensure a coherent approach based on the local situation on the ground;

92.  Recommends the promotion, with the support of the EU, of information campaigns in third countries to inform citizens of their mobility rights and obligations, and to alert them to the risks they could face during their journey – particularly as regards smugglers and traffickers – in order to help them reach the most informed decision;

93.  Calls for the better use of twinning programmes and TAIEX action, not simply for exchanges of best practices and training but for development and cooperation with a special focus on countries under pressure;

o
o   o

94.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments of the 16 priority countries identified in the new partnership framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration, and civil society organisations representing and working with migrants and refugees.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0272.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0073.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0102.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0337.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0404.
(6) Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Last updated: 10 July 2018Legal notice