New migration and border management funds should focus on migrant integration

The EESC supports the new Fund for asylum and migration and Fund for border and visa management. In the opinion adopted at its October plenary session and drafted by Giuseppe Iuliano, the Committee agrees with the Commission decision to increase the budget for both policy areas, but says the word "integration" should stay in the name of the fund for migration, and that provisions should be made for regular to access to the EU.

"The removal of the word 'integration' from the title of the Asylum and Migration Fund is quite worrying," said Mr Iuliano. "It could be seen as reflecting diminishing concern for this aspect. Let's not forget that equal treatment and anti-discrimination policies represent the pillars of European policies, including those concerning the integration of third-country nationals," he continued. "The word 'integration' needs to be put back into the title, since inclusion is a challenge for the Member States".

In addition, the Commission proposal focuses specifically on irregular arrivals at border checkpoints, without mentioning any standard channels for access to the EU. Likewise, there is no specific reference to the protection of fundamental rights at border checkpoints. The Committee upholds the right to asylum and calls for a common migration policy, with instruments that facilitate regular and ordered migration. "We need progress and innovation in the integrated European migration system. That is why we must reform the Dublin system" - said Mr Iuliano. (mp)