The EU should step up action on asylum, relocation and return of migrants to better meet the objectives of its support, according to a new report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Emergency relocation schemes did not reach their targets and only partially achieved their main objective of alleviating pressure on Greece and Italy. Despite increased asylum-processing capacities in both countries, long handling times and bottlenecks persist, while returns of irregular migrants remain low and problematic across the EU.
The EU has seen unprecedented levels of migration in recent years, which peaked in 2015 and led to increased asylum applications, particularly in Greece and Italy. To address the crisis, the EU set up hotspots, introduced temporary relocation schemes and increased its funding. The auditors examined whether EU support for both countries achieved its objectives, relocation schemes reached their targets, and asylum and return procedures were effective and swift.
“EU migration management in Greece and Italy was relevant, but has not reached its full potential,” said Leo Brincat, the ECA Member responsible for the report. “It is time to step up action to address disparities between objectives and results.”
Press Release: Migration management in Greece and Italy: time to step up action to address disparities