Migration and security projects secure €93m of EU funds

Division distributes EU funds to entities in charge of internal security and those involved in asylum, migration and return of migrants

Controls at the border can benefit from EU funding
Controls at the border can benefit from EU funding

80% of the internal security funds and 45% of the asylum, migration and integration funds had been committed to projects by the end of November 2016, Ian Borg, Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds said on Wednesday.

The Internal Security Fund supports actions aimed at addressing threats which jeopardise the security of the country through international crime networks and terrorism, while also raising the levels of security in cyberspace and through controls at the border.

The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund provides assistance to Malta in its management of migration flows, through the provision of asylum and reception facilities to migrants, while also strengthening cooperation with third countries with respect to return management.

Both programmes are administered by the Funds and Programmes Division within the Ministry for European Affairs, which oversaw the distribution of over €93 million in EU Funds to entities in charge of the internal security of Malta and those involved in the asylum, integration and return of migrants residing in Malta.

By the end of November 2016, six calls for proposals were issued with respect to the ISF, while five calls for proposals were issued with respect to the AMIF, returning 19 and 16 project submissions respectively. 

The projects identified for financing varied in nature: the security of the open centres will be reinforced, while a specialised unit at Mater Dei Hospital will be set up to deal with highly infectious diseases, for example.

In addition, the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees will be assisted through the provision of local or foreign interpreters, while a new unit dealing with assessments under the Dublin Regulation will be set up.

Furthermore, as part of the integration measures that will be undertaken, the Ministry for Social Dialogue will be setting up a hub whereby third country nationals will be assisted in their establishment in Malta, while also undertaking national campaigns to bring together third country nationals living in Malta with the Maltese general public.

The fund will also be assisting the initiative undertaken by the Maltese government to share the burden being undertaken by Italy, Greece and Turkey following a sudden inflow of nationals of third countries to their country. In such instances, the fund will be providing a sum of money for their relocation or resettlement in Malta.

As part of the Internal Security Fund, equipment will be purchased to increase the surveillance undertaken on land by the Malta Police Force and on sea and air by the Armed Forces of Malta.

In addition, upgrades will be made to the exchange of information currently undertaken by the Malta Police Force in relation to criminal activities identified, while the AFM’s communications systems will be further enhanced.

A number of bullet-proof vests will be procured, the third helicopter has been part-financed and delivered to Malta in September, while a new Explosives Ordinance Disposal robot and ancillary equipment was procured by the Ammo & Explosive, Storage and Disposal Company within the Armed Forces of Malta.

Other deliverables will include a new fixed-wing patrol aircraft to be used by the AFM, new scanning equipment for the Customs Department, and new surveillance equipment to be utilised by the Malta Police Force.

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