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Parliamentary questions
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19 June 2019
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001573/2019

The Commission has successfully taken measures to counter irregular migration towards the EU. For three consecutive years, arrival figures have been steadily falling, and current levels are a mere 10% of what they were at their peak in 2015.

Through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, over 5.3 million vulnerable people benefit from support and over 60 000 people have received reintegration support upon return to their countries of origin. With six new readmission arrangements since 2016, the EU now has 23 readmission agreements and arrangements in place with third countries.

Following the June 2018 European Council conclusions, the EU continues engaging with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and regional partners around the Mediterranean to support a comprehensive approach to migration management and fulfilment of obligations under international law.

The EU notably participated in an international roundtable on search and rescue and disembarkation in the Mediterranean region organised jointly by UNHCR and IOM in Geneva in July 2018.

This conference convened international organisations and States with an access to the Mediterranean Sea to reflect jointly on how to address the current challenges around search and rescue operations and the need to save lives in the Mediterranean. The EU is working with all its partners to find mutually agreeable effective solutions.

In its communications of December 2018(1) and March 2019(2), the Commission called for establishing temporary arrangements as an immediate coordinated approach to disembarkation in the EU which would demonstrate solidarity among EU Member States and could facilitate cooperation with regional partners. Discussions with the Member States on temporary arrangements are ongoing.

(1)COM(2018) 798 final of 4.12.2018.
(2)COM(2019) 126 final of 6.3.2019.

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