Wednesday

19th Sep 2018

EU ready to shore up Morocco migrant funding

The European Commission is ready to dole out more money to Morocco to help stem irregular migration into Spain.

"We are fully aware of the needs as conveyed by Morocco that require much higher financial effort and we are prepared to deliver this," commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reports in Brussels on Wednesday (1 August).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • (Photo: blueSkySunHigh)

It remains unclear what the 'higher financial effort' entails, but the EU had in July already earmarked €55m for Morocco and Tunisia from its EU Trust Fund for Africa.

The bulk of the money will go to Rabat and help train and better equip Moroccan border guards, a decision made in the aftermath of an EU summit where heads of state and government agreed to help the country "prevent illegal migration."

The commission says the Moroccan funding "is only the start of a longer term operation", a statement that also comes amid vague EU plans to get north African states to accept disembarked rescues.

More funding for Morocco is likely in autumn and then again in 2019.

The comments are a response to a recent Spanish demand for help following an increase of irregular migrant arrival pressure along its southern coast and in its Ceuta and Melilla enclaves bordering Morocco.

Over 23,000 have so far landed in Spain by sea this year, almost as many as the whole of 2017. The EU has provided Spain with €25.6 million to help with reception centres in the two enclaves and with returns.

Most of the Spanish arrivals are from sub-Saharan Africa, although many are also Moroccan nationals. The European Commission is negotiating an readmission agreement with Morocco.

In a letter addressed to Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez, the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday stated that it "stands side by side with Spain" and that it is ready to provide additional support.

Juncker said extra money will be made available to Spain to help its civil guard officers patrolling the area.

EU Commission: Libya unfit for migrant disembarkation

The European Commission declined to comment on an Italian boat that reportedly returned rescued migrants at sea back to Libya - but instead said the country is too dangerous to be considered as a place safe enough for disembarkation.

EU to restrict refugee resettlement options

The European Commission unveiled concept papers on centres in the EU and platforms in north African states where disembarked migrants would be screened for protection or sent home. Plans build on EU summit conclusions but remain vague.

EU promotes 'Egypt model' to reduce migrant numbers

EU council president Donald Tusk wants to discuss deepening relations with authoritarian Egypt, as a model of migrant reduction, with EU heads of state and government at a meeting in Salzburg, Austria on Wednesday.

Analysis

EU to shore up borders, returns and migrant detentions

The European Commission wants more border controls, detentions and returns for rejected asylum seekers. The harsh tone is part of a broader anti-migrant mood. "We are treated like rats," one asylum seeker stuck on a Greek island told this website.

Visual Data

Europeans also seek EU asylum

Every year, almost 100,000 Europeans seek asylum in EU countries. The number of applications continues to grow, but the issue remains on the margins of political debate.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  4. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  5. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  6. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  7. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  8. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  9. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  10. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  12. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us