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.”
On Monday 12th October, Richard Ashworth, Conservative MEP for the South East of England backed an amendment to the EU’s budget for 2015 that unlocks a further £593mn (€801.3mn) for measures to tackle the ongoing migration crisis in Europe.
The increase in the budget will be paid for by making cuts and savings to existing programmes totalling £348.5mn (€470.6mn) and by increasing the budget by £244.9mn (€330.7mn).
The money will be used to strengthen Europe’s borders and provide aid to those in camps in Lebannon, Turkey and Jordan.
Richard Ashworth MEP, spokesman on budgets for the Conservatives in the European Parliament said: “Regrettably, a number of countries have failed to live up to their promises to provide money to the United Nations for feeding and housing refugees in camps across the Middle East. The EU has stepped in to help to address the lack of funding.
“Dealing with the migration crisis at source and across Europe will help to alleviate problems in the UK. On top of that, these proposals come at a low cost so they represent good value for money.
“Ultimately, this package shows the value of the EU: Member States coming together, to solve a cross-border problem.”