Brussels on Wednesday (14 October) gave a green light to another package of EU funding aimed at tackling the refugee crisis. An extra €401.3 million are meant for those countries that were hardest hit by the influx of migrants, to three EU agencies that are in charge of most migrant issues and to non-EU countries hosting most Syrian refugees. Parliament approved the extra money by 577 votes to 66, with 14 abstentions.
On top of endorsing the new batch of funding, the Parliament stressed that the block’s 7-year framework budget system should be revamped to allow for more long-term financial measures to handle what could eventually prove to be a much more complex and long-term issue. Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, a reporter on the 2015 budgetary changes, commented that “Parliament understands the urgency of the refugee situation and has been ready to act fast to reinforce resources to deal with the unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants. However, with the refugee crisis likely to remain an issue in the coming years, we want to ensure adequate resources for it in the longer term, during the revision of the EU multiannual financial framework in 2016”.
As the Parliament and Council have both given the measures their blessing, the money can be made immediately available. The Commission proposed the following split of the new funding: €100 million for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF) in commitment appropriations, €1.3 million in commitment and payment appropriations for 120 new posts at the FRONTEX border agency, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Europol agencies, and €300 million in commitment appropriations for the European Neighborhood Instrument (ENI) to contribute to the Madad Trust Fund.