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Outcome of special European Council meeting on migrant situation in the Mediterranean

Date Published: 24-04-2015

In response to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean, European leaders issued a joint statement which agreed to strengthen presence at sea, fight traffickers, prevent illegal migration flows and reinforce internal solidarity and responsibility among EU Member States. 

Strengthen presence at sea:

Fight Traffickers:  

  • Disrupt trafficking networks and bring perpetrators to justice, in cooperation with EUROPOL, FRONTEX, EASO, EUROJUST and third countries.
  • Identify, capture and destroy vessels before they are used by traffickers.
  • The High Representative (of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) invited to prepare a Common Security and Defence Policy to facilitate the fight against traffickers.
  • EUROPOL to remove internet content used by traffickers to attract migrants and refugees.

Prevent illegal migration flows:  

  • Support Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Mali and Niger and others countries, to monitor and control land and sea borders.
  • Cooperate with African partners to prevent illegal migration flow and combat the smuggling and trafficCooperate with African partners to prevent illegal migration flow and combat the smuggling and trafficking of human beings. 
  • Cooperate with Turkey in view of the situation in Syria and Iraq. 
  • Deploy European migration liaison officers to key countries to gather information on migratory flows, co-ordinate with national liaison officers, and co-operate directly with the local authorities. 
  • Work with regional partners to build capacity for maritime border management and search and rescue operations.
  • Launch Regional Development and Protection programmes for North Africa and the Horn of Africa. 
  • The European Commission and the High Representative invited to work closely with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to mobilise tools to implement EU and national readmission agreements with third countries, promoting the readmission of unauthorised economic migrants to countries of origin and transit. 
  • FRONTEX to coordinate a new programme for rapid return of illegal migrant.

Reinforce internal solidarity and responsibility among EU Member States:

  • Full implementation of the Common European Asylum System by all participating Member States. 
  • Increase emergency aid to frontline Member States and consider options for organising emergency relocation between all Member States on a voluntary basis. 
  • Deploy EASO teams in frontline Member States for joint processing of asylum applications, including registration and finger-printing. 
  • Set up a first voluntary pilot project on resettlement across the EU, offering places to persons qualifying for protection.

Next Steps:

  1. Immediate implementation of agreed actions. The Latvian Presidency of the European Council and the European Commission will present a roadmap setting out action to June.
  2. The European Commission's European Agenda for Migration will be presented to the European Counil in June. 

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