EU launches European migration agenda

Agenda expected to set a sound course on legal migration, act more vigorously against irregular immigration and human trafficking, ensure more secure external European borders

The European Commission has launched its work on a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration, with the College of Commissioners holding an orientation debate to step up the EU's efforts to manage migration flows from third-world countries.

"Managing migration well is a challenge for Europe as a whole,” the Commission’s first vice-president Frans Timmermans said. “It is now time for a fresh approach in the way we work together: we must make better and more coherent use of all our tools, agree common priorities and pool more resources at EU and national levels to achieve real solidarity and a better sharing of responsibility between Member States.

He announced that the Commission will present a new migration agenda in May that will strengthen the EU’s asylum system, set a sound course on legal migration, act more vigorously against irregular migration and human trafficking, and ensure more secure external European borders.

"We need to be effective, as Europeans, on the immediate response and at the same time to address the root causes, starting from the crises spreading at our borders, most of all in Libya,” High Representative Vice-President Federica Mogherini said. “That's why we are increasing our work with origin and transit countries to provide protection in conflict regions, facilitate resettlement and tackle trafficking routes."

Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos pointed out that migration is “about people”.

“Behind each face arriving at our borders, there is an individual: a businessperson travelling to work, a student coming to study, a victim of people-traffickers, a parent trying to get their children to safety,” Avramopoulos said. “When presenting a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration we have to think about all dimensions of migration – this is not about quick fixes; this is about creating a more secure, prosperous and attractive European Union."