The European Court of Auditors is conducting an audit on EU migration management. In particular, the auditors will assess whether support for Greece and Italy has achieved its objectives and whether the asylum and return procedures have been effective and swift. They will examine the projects supported to determine their relevance, evaluate their design and see if they are achieving the intended results as well as looking at follow-up procedures to see whether performance has improved.
The auditors have today published an Audit Preview on EU Migration Management. Audit Previews (previously called Background Papers) provide information on an ongoing audit task. They are designed to be a source of information for those interested in the policy or programmes being audited.
“The challenges of migration revealed weaknesses in the EU’s asylum and migration policies and in its external border management. Established arrangements came under heavy strain, even prompting their temporary suspension in some cases. So ensuring the implementation of the right measures and legal framework for handling migration is vital,” said Leo Brincat, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit.
The migration crisis peaked in 2015, when over one million people attempted to reach the EU. Although numbers have declined to pre-crisis level, tens of thousands are still migrating to the Union.
Since they are located on the front line, Greece and Italy are the most affected.
The EU devised several measures to manage the crisis, including the setting up of “Hotspots” and the introduction of relocation schemes, which were both originally meant to be temporary. Both measures will be covered by the audit. The Hotspot approach sees EU agencies assisting frontline Member States on the ground with identifying, registering and fingerprinting arrivals, in order to ascertain which migrants require international protection, in full respect of individuals’ fundamental rights. There are five hotspots in each of Greece and Italy.
The audit report is expected to be published before the end of 2019.
The EU Auditors’ report on migration management is the fourth in a series of publications in the area of migration policy. In March 2016, they published a special report on the EU’s external migration spending in Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Neighbourhood countries up to 2014. In April 2017, they examined the Hotspots approach and in May 2018 they published a Briefing Paper on the integration of migrants from outside the EU into society. The current audit will follow up on the work undertaken for the 2017 report on Hotspots.