The European Parliament has today voted in favour of reallocating resources in the EU budget to help manage the refugee crisis.
European Conservatives and Reformists Group shadow rapporteur Richard Ashworth MEP supported the plan, but has made it clear that the swift adoption of the plans must not be at the expense of ensuring the funds are targeted to provide real value on the front line.
The reallocated €801 million includes around €100 million for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF), €300 million to reinforce the European Neighbourhood Instrument, €200 million for the EU Regional Trust Fund in Syria, €200 million to provide immediate help for the UNHCR and World Food Programme, as well as extra resources for 120 extra staff for agencies such as the FRONTEX border agency, the European Asylum Support Office, and EUROPOL.
The changes do not increase the overall payment appropriations of the EU, as money is taken from other budgetary headings and the so-called ‘Flexibility Instrument’.
Responding to the vote, Mr Ashworth said:
“It is clear that managing the refugee and migrant crisis is going to need resources both at the front line, and in improving standards in Syria’s Neighbourhood.
“I do worry that we have not had enough time to examine these measures and to ensure these extra funds will give the greatest value to European taxpayers. We will be following closely how the money is spent to ensure it focuses on the right priorities.
“We need to get the basics right in responding to this crisis and so ensuring funding is going towards processing, security, integration and basic humanitarian facilities, is a good place to start.”