The European Commission is working on plans to strengthen relations with so-called “partner” countries, within the framework of its pact on migration and asylum.
Leaked committee documents dated earlier this month outline draft proposals on Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia – all available for download below.
The Afghanistan document offers immediate and short-term plans, including sending a possible EU border guard from Frontex to neighboring Pakistan to deal with the war-torn country.
“Frontex is not currently implementing border-related activities in Afghanistan,” he said, noting that negotiations on a working agreement with the country are not planned.
Talks are also underway to allocate around € 1 billion to Afghanistan under the EU’s new € 79.5 billion wallet known as the Neighborhood and Cooperation Instrument. Development.
But he also indicates that “the work to advance this within the framework of the multiannual indicative program of the country 2021-2027 is now suspended”.
An additional 79 million euros are also being prepared for 2022 to deal with the “regional dimension of Afghan displacement,” the document notes.
Regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU plans to discuss its migration policy and its prospects for enlargement in November and December, with possible additional funding measures.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is invited to adopt sectoral strategies at national level, the implementation of which can benefit from financial support from the EU”, he notes.
On Libya, he says he wants to build a rights-based migration and asylum system.
The country has already received some 455 million euros in European funds. More than half went to migrant protection and a third to “community stabilization” and border management, according to the report.
Now he wants to provide Libya with “a flexible source of funding to meet changing needs and routes.”
This includes strengthening the AU-EU-UN working group, set up to rescue migrants and refugees stranded in Libya, before the end of the year.
He also wants to initiate a migration dialogue with Libya after the presidential elections in mid-December.
On Morocco, he wants Rabat to strengthen border controls, search and rescue operations and dismantle the smuggling networks.
Plans are also underway for “structured cooperation” with Frontex and the Moroccan authorities. A working agreement with the EU police agency, Europol, is also envisaged.
Regarding money, the committee indicates that a draft budget for 2021-2027 is being prepared and should focus inter alia on the root causes of migration. He also notes that Morocco will be able to rely on another fund, set up for other neighboring countries, to curb migration.
Regarding Tunisia, he notes that around 30 million euros of European funds have been devoted to strengthening its coast guards. “An additional 10 million euros is being finalized,” he notes.
The goal, he said, is to ensure that Tunisia’s migration strategy and asylum law are finalized and approved.
“Frontex is not currently implementing border related activities in Tunisia and the Tunisian authorities are reluctant to cooperate with it,” he said.
Internal EU highlights
They also set out bilateral initiatives between EU states.
Among the highlights:
Regarding Tunisia, Austria, Belgium and Germany want better cooperation when it comes to sending unwanted Tunisians home.
“[Austria] is generally not satisfied with cooperation with Tunisia, due to identification issues, ”Austria said.
On Libya, the Czech Republic supports the Libyan coast guard but does not go into details.
But with the Visegrad 4 countries (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic), they are now planning increased financial support for Libyan border management.
Italy has announced that it will deliver two “second-hand” inflatable boats to the Libyan coastguard and port security, while Malta is considering options to provide expertise on reception facilities.
“A technical team has already visited Tripoli to assess the vessels available to the Libyan coast guard,” said Malta.
In Morocco, Germany is training the authorities in the detection of documentary fraud and in aviation safety.
Spain is carrying out “infrastructure reforms” in its northern Moroccan enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, including surveillance.
Madrid is also strengthening information exchange and police collaboration with Morocco to fight migrant smuggling, he said.
Regarding Afghanistan, Bulgaria has helped train police officers from Iraq and Afghanistan with the aim of dismantling the smuggling of migrants.
Denmark has funded return and reintegration programs. Estonia has suspended all bilateral projects in Afghanistan, given the current crisis.
Italy has carried out a € 900,000 project to help Afghan refugees in Iran.
Slovenia says it currently has two Afghan scholarship holders studying civil engineering.
He also deployed a police officer to Afghanistan for six months to train and educate local police, he said.