European Commission published its European Agenda on Migration

13 May 2015

The European Commission launched its European Agenda on Migration which addresses the need for immediate action in response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean and puts forward four pillars for a common EU migration policy.

Proposed immediate actions in response to the migration situation in the Mediterranean

  • Saving lives at sea: Increasing financial resources to reinforce EU Operations Triton and Poseidon. 
  • Targeting criminal smuggling networks: Immediate support for a possible Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations to identify, capture and destroy vessels used by smugglers and to identify and remove internet content used by traffickers to attract migrants and refugees. 
  • Responding to high-volumes of arrivals within the EU – Relocation: In order to assist frontline Member States, the Commission propose an emergency mechanism[1] under article 78(3) Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TREU) to redistribute those in clear need of international protection among Member States for by the end of May 2015.  
  • A common approach to granting protection to displaced persons in need of protection – Resettlement: The Commission will provide an extra €50 million funding in 2015/2016 to support an EU-wide resettlement scheme[2] to offer 20,000 places to persons in need of protection.
  • Working in partnership with third countries to tackle migration upstream: Launch a Regional Development and Protection programmes for North Africa and the Horn of Africa (€30 million will be made available in 2015/2016); set up a multi-purpose centre in Niger working with International Organisation for Migration (IOM), UNHCR and Niger authorities to provide information on local protection and resettlement opportunities; support countries to monitor and control land and sea borders; and support broader political initiatives to address the crisis situations in Libya and Syria.
  • Using EU tools to help frontline Member States: Deploy EASO, Frontex and Europol teams to  frontline Member States for joint processing of asylum applications, including registration and finger-printing.
The agenda also sets out four pillars for a common EU migration policy. 


Address irregular migration

  • Making migration a core issue for EU delegations, addressing the root cause of migration in third countries.
  • Provide an action plan on smuggling in May 2015.
  • Revise the Commission’s approach to readmission agreements, assisting third countries to management return and reintegration measures.
  • Adoption of a return handbook and monitoring of the implementation of the Return Directive.
  • Amend the Frontex legal basis to strengthen its role on return.

Securing Europe’s external borders 

  • Strengthen Frontex’s role and capacity.
  • Standard border management.
  • Strengthening EU coordination of coast guard functions.
  • A revised proposal on Smart Boarders.
  • Strengthening the capacity of third counties to manage their borders

Implementation of a strong Common Asylum System 

  • Coherent implementation of the Common European Asylum System and guidance to improve standards on reception conditions and asylum procedures.
  • Greater responsibility sharing across Member States to examine asylum applications (Dublin System).
  • Strengthening Safe Country of Origin provisions of the Asylum Procedure Directive to support the processing of asylum applicants from countries designated as safe.

A new European policy on legal migration

  • Modernise the Blue Card Directive to provide an attractive EU wide scheme for highly qualified third-country nationals.
  • Establish a platform for dialogue with social partners on economic migration to maximise the benefits of migration for the European economy and the migrants themselves.
  • Effective integration policies for migrants.
  • Maximise the development benefits for countries of origin, building effective management of labour migration and facilitating cheaper, faster and safer remittance transfers.



[1] A redistribution key based on criteria such and GDP, size of populating, unemployment rate and past numbers of asylum seekers and of resettled refugees.

[2] Distribution based on criteria such and GDP, size of population, unemployment rate and past numbers of asylum seekers and of resettled refugees and voluntary efforts by Member States.

For further information:

Read European Commission Press release  

Download Communication on the European Agenda on Migration

Download Annex to the European Agenda on Migration

Read European Commission Fact Sheet – European Agenda on Migration: Questions and Answers

Read Department of Justice and Equality Press Release