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In recent years, the migration policy of the European Union (EU) has focused on strict border controls and the externalisation of migration management through cooperation with third countries. Although states have the right to decide whether to grant non-EU nationals access to their territory, they must do this in accordance with the law and uphold individuals' fundamental rights. Nonetheless, national human rights institutions, international bodies, media and civil society organisations regularly ...

International law imposes an obligation to render assistance to people and ships in distress at sea, which must be provided regardless of the persons' nationality or status or the circumstances in which they are found. These rules have to be applied without prejudice to the obligations deriving from international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including in particular the prohibition of refoulement. Search and rescue (SAR) and disembarkation activities of EU Member States are ...

In May 2022, the European Parliament postponed its discharge decision on the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) for the financial year 2020. In its second report, Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee (CONT) is once again recommending Parliament refuses to grant discharge to Frontex, reiterating its demand that the Agency present a detailed road map showing how it intends to address the outstanding concerns.

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 transformed Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and considerably increased its tasks, powers, responsibilities and budget. The regulation also gave the European Parliament a range of tools affording it oversight of the agency's activities. In addition to budgetary discharge, these include an obligation for the agency to provide Parliament with information, a key role for Parliament in appointing the agency's executive director, and attendance, on invitation ...

In September 2020, the Commission put forward a new pact on migration and asylum, setting out a comprehensive approach to European Union (EU) migration policies that links external borders, asylum, return systems, the Schengen area of free movement and the external dimension of migration. The pact includes a proposal for a new regulation on the screening of third-country nationals at external borders aiming to clarify and streamline the rules on dealing with third-country nationals who are not authorised ...

The Conference on the Future of Europe was designed to give citizens a say about their vision for the EU, by means of a multilingual digital platform and citizens' panels. The panels are transnational forums, gathering citizens from the EU Member States to discuss their ideas for the future of the Union and make recommendations on how the EU could be improved. The resulting proposals are diverse and constructive. The suggestions for the future range from adjustments of legislation in force to complete ...

Russia's military invasion of Ukraine has already pushed over a million people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. The EU and its Member States have strongly condemned the aggression and mobilised to aid Ukraine. The EU has also adopted measures to help people, mostly women and children, fleeing Russian aggression, while ensuring proper management of the EU's external borders. These measures include a proposal to grant EU-wide temporary protection to people arriving from Ukraine, guidelines ...

Unequivocal support for the European perspective of Western Balkan countries was reiterated by participants at the EU-Western Balkans summit in Brdo on 6 October 2021, as well as in the European Commission's October 2021 enlargement package reports. Nevertheless, the Commission insists that all countries in the region need to continue to accelerate and deepen reforms on independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption, and the fight against transnational organised crime. Progress on the ...

In April 2021, the European Parliament decided to postpone the decision on granting discharge to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency for the 2019 budget, and presented a number of observations. Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control has examined the situation again and now, in its second report, recommends granting discharge. The Committee nevertheless recommends 'freezing' part of the Agency's budget, insisting on the need to move swiftly to address the issues that remain concerning ...

The European Union's objectives in the field of external border protection are to safeguard freedom of movement within the Schengen area (an area without internal borders) and to ensure efficient monitoring of people who cross the EU's external borders. To strengthen its external borders and prevent irregular migrants from reaching EU territory, the EU has focused on extending its partnerships with third countries as well as on reinforcing and providing its border agencies with stronger means and ...