The Centre for European Policy Studies has issued a commentary on the priorities for the new European agenda on migration. The authors of the commentary argue that the EU shold focus on two sets of thematic priorities: first, to develop rule of law-driven actions towards more effective sharing and uptake of responsibility by member states in rescuing people at sea and providing access to asylum. Second, to devise legal and flexible mechanisms ensuring access to Europe for would-be immigrants.
On burden-sharing, the commentary notes that it “is limited in almost every respect, but particularly in terms of rescue operations at sea. The 2014 Italian-led operation Mare Nostrum was mainly financed from national coffers. It was considered too expensive, but the overall cost was estimated at €8-9 million per month or about €100 million (not billion) per annum. This is less than 1/1000th of the EU budget and less than 1/10,000th of Italian GDP. The sums involved were thus clearly negligible, but given that they are not shared, they have played an outsized role in the political discussions.”
Read the commentary here.