Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from the Chairman to Tony McNulty MP, Minister of State, Home Office

  Sub-Committee F (Home Affairs) of the House of Lords Committee on the European Union examined the Communication, setting out priority actions for responding to migration challenges, at a meeting on 1 February. This document was examined alongside Annex I to the Council Conclusions adopted at the European Council meeting of 15 and 16 December 2005, which builds on this Communication.

  The Committee takes note of the funding commitment to North African countries, agreed by the Council, to help them better to manage migratory flows around their territory. It welcomes the emphasis on a balanced and comprehensive approach to migration issues, and agrees on the need to engage Sub-Saharan States, not just North Africa, so as to address the root causes of migration.

  The Committee decided to clear the document from scrutiny, but would be glad to receive details of the budget allocated for the Union's external policies on migration in the current and next financial perspectives, and what financial instruments are being considered, other than the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, for priority actions focusing on Africa and the Mediterranean.

1 February 2006

Letter from Tony McNulty MP to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 1 February requesting details of EU funding for external policies on migration in relation to the Commission Communication on follow-up to Hampton Court, and the European Council Conclusions of December 2005 on priority actions on migration.

  Regarding the budget allocated for the Union's external policies on migration in the current financial perspectives, this is primarily covered by the AENEAS funding programme. The scope of AENEAS is to provide assistance to third countries in the area of migration and asylum. The programme was allocated a budget of €250 million for the period 2004-08. The 2005 round has a total of €40.35 million available, with North and Sub-Saharan Africa specified as priority regions.

  Specific migration external policy funding is complemented by geographic instruments. The MEDA programme provides financial support to European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) southern partner countries, to promote economic development, peace and stability. In 2000-06 MEDA assistance will total €5.3 billion. In addition, the ARGO programme, also due to run until the end of 2006, funds cooperation in the fields of external borders, visas, asylum and immigration, and includes Member States' co-operation activities. in third countries.

  In view of the conclusion of the current EU financial framework at the end of 2006, AENEAS has now been shortened to three years. It will be replaced by a new thematic programme within the framework of the financial perspectives 2007-13. This thematic programme will cover five strands: migration and development, economic migration, illegal immigration and readmission, migrant rights and integration, and asylum and international protection. The Commission issued a Communication, "Thematic programme for the cooperation with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum", on 25 January. I will be sending you an Explanatory Memorandum setting out the detail of the Communication shortly.

  From 2007, MEDA and TACIS (the main funding programme for Europe's Eastern neighbourhood) will be replaced by a single, dedicated European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). This instrument will finance joint projects that bring together regions from EU Members States and partner countries sharing a common border. It will have a specific focus on cross-border cooperation and intra-regional cooperation. The Commission has proposed €10.4 billion for the ENPI for 2007-13. The European Council agreed to ring-fence up to 3 per cent of ENPI for migration in its Conclusions of December 2005, "Global Approach to Migration: Priority actions focusing on Africa and the Mediterranean".

  Another new instrument—the Development Cooperation and Economic Cooperation Instrument (DCECI)—will also be set up to provide support for all developing countries not covered under the ENPI or candidate and pre-accession countries. It provides the framework and legal base for the Community's development programmes and has as its overarching aim to eradicate global poverty and promote sustainable development, including the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals. Promoting good governance, democracy and respect for human rights are key elements of this instrument. In many regards, long term funding through the DCECI will address the root causes of migration from many parts of the world, by seeking to combat poverty and under-development, support fragile states and address issues of bad governance and instability.

2 March 2006

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