Ukraine: MEPs say yes to EU aid package to help member states welcome refugees
- Invasion of Ukraine by Russia led to mass influx of displaced persons to the EU
- Draft amending budget to contribute to €400 million support package for frontline member states
- Funds for first reception and registration costs of people fleeing Ukraine
- MEPS are concerned that the EU budget is already pushed to its limits and not fit to address multiple crises
Parliament on Thursday approved a reinforcement of EU migration programmes to help member states deal with urgent migration and border management measures.
The aim of this proposal is to contribute to the financing, in most affected member states, of the first reception and registration costs of people fleeing Ukraine as a consequence of the Russian aggression. It is one of the elements of a €400 million support package proposed by the Commission, which in turn is part of a €1 billion EU pledge to the “Stand Up For Ukraine” initiative.
The decision covers the following elements:
- Reinforcement of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) for an amount of €99.8 million in commitment appropriations and €76 million in payment appropriations. The funds serve to ensure that people fleeing Ukraine can benefit from adequate first reception, food, shelter, sanitation, clothing, medicines, family tracing, legal and translation assistance, psycho-social and other specialised services leading to their registration in one of the Member States.
- Reinforcement of the Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI) for an amount of €100 million in payment appropriations. This will allow for the smooth application of procedures at, or near, the external borders, such as identification, fingerprinting, registration, security checks, medical and vulnerability screening of third country nationals, as well as for immediate reception needs throughout these procedures.
MEPs worried about lack of EU funds to tackle multiple crises
While Parliament is committed to continue providing the strongest possible economic and financial support to Ukraine and to the people fleeing the war in Ukraine, MEPs say they are “deeply concerned” that the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF, the EU’s long-term budget) is “already pushed to its limits and is not fit to continue addressing the multiple internal and external crises in a sustainable manner”.
They also expect “that the economic and social situation in the Union will deteriorate further in the coming months and calls on the Member States and the Commission to urgently establish the necessary solidarity and compensation mechanisms”.
The draft report by Karlo Ressler (EPP, HR), recommending the approval of the draft amending budget No 3/2022, was adopted on Thursday by 576 votes against 3 and 13 abstentions.
What are commitments and payments?
Commitments are the total volume of contractual obligations for future payments that can be made in a given year. Commitments must then be honoured with payments, either in the same year or, particularly in the case of multi-annual projects, over the following years.
Payments are the actual money paid in a given year from the EU budget to cover commitments of current and previous years.
Armin WISDORFFPress Officer