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EU amends the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund for Ukraine

The implementation period for the funds needs to be extended by one year to allow states to make full use of them
A Ukrainian volunteer, holding a Ukrainian flag, leads hundreds of refugees after fleeing Ukraine and arriving at the Medyka border crossing, Poland, 7 March 2022.

AP/VISAR KRYEZIU  -   A Ukrainian volunteer, holding a Ukrainian flag, leads hundreds of refugees after fleeing Ukraine and arriving at the Medyka border crossing, Poland, 7 March 2022

The OJEU of 11 April publishes Regulation (EU) 2022/585 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 April 2022 amending Regulations (EU) No 514/2014 laying down general provisions on the Asylum Fund, Migration and Integration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management, (EU) No 516/2014 establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. It enters into force on the day following its publication.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has led to a massive influx of displaced persons from Ukraine to several Member States. This puts added pressure on Member States' financial resources to address urgent migration, border management and security needs which, given the nature and scale of the crisis, will persist beyond 2022.

Since 1 January 2014, EU home affairs policy on migration, border management and security has been financed through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Internal Security Fund, composed of the instrument for financial support for external borders and visas, and the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020).

Polonia ha aceptado a un gran número de refugiados ucranianos, lo que hace temer que se convierta en otra cuña que Rusia podría explotar
AP/PETROS GIANNKOURIS - Poland has accepted a large number of Ukrainian refugees, raising fears it could become another wedge that Russia could exploit.

It is necessary to extend the implementation period of these Funds by one year in order to allow Member States to fully utilise all unspent amounts of these programmes and, if necessary, to revise rapidly the implementation of their programmes, if required, to address unforeseen challenges resulting from the invasion of Ukraine.

It is necessary to provide for greater flexibility in the use of allocated resources, which currently prevents unspent amounts from the 2014-2020 programming period from being used for actions to address the pressing needs arising from the invasion of Ukraine.

Refugiados que huyen de la guerra en Ucrania, se acercan a la frontera con Polonia en Shehyni, Ucrania, el 6 de marzo de 2022
AP/DANIEL COLE - Refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, approach the border with Poland in Shehyni, Ukraine, on March 6, 2022.
Funds 2021-2027

On 1 January 2021, a renewed package of funds in the area of migration and border management in the form of the new Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Financial Support Instrument for Border Management and Visa Policy, and the Internal Security Fund (Home Affairs Funds 2021-2027) entered into force in the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027.

Although these Funds entered into force on 15 July 2021 with retroactive application from 1 January 2021, the programmes of all Member States have not yet been approved.

In order to ensure continuity in the implementation of the policy objectives of the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020 and 2021-2027, and to allow for a smooth transition between the 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 programming periods, thus minimising the administrative burden for Member States, there is a need for some overlap between the implementation of these funding instruments.

This need is expressly recognised by the Home Affairs Funds 2021-2027, which allow for retroactive eligibility of expenditure from 1 January 2021.

Refugiados ucranianos esperan en la cola para comprar billetes de tren en el vestíbulo de la estación de tren de Przemysl Glowny, tras huir de la invasión rusa de Ucrania, en Polonia, el 3 de abril de 2022
REUTERS/HANNAH McKAY - Ukrainian refugees wait in line to buy train tickets in the lobby of Przemysl Glowny train station after fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Poland April 3, 2022.
More time and flexibility

In order to ensure that Member States continue to have access to unspent amounts under the Home Affairs Funds 2014-2020, it is necessary to extend the period of eligibility of those funds by one year and to make the necessary corresponding adjustments to the dates applicable to the implementation, reporting, evaluation and closure of the programmes, as well as to the dates relating to the amounts decommitted.

In order to unlock access to all available funds and to avoid their loss through the release of previously earmarked unspent resources, including resources for specific actions and for the EU Resettlement Programme, it is necessary to provide flexibility for Member States to make exceptional use of these resources in the light of new or unforeseen circumstances such as those arising from the invasion of Ukraine.

In order to increase the scope of available sources of funding to cope with unforeseen future events, Member States and other public or private donors should be allowed during the programming period 2021-2027 to make additional financial contributions to asylum and migration management in the form of external assigned revenue.

Personas procedentes de Ucrania, en su mayoría refugiados que huyen de la guerra, esperan frente al Consulado de la Embajada ucraniana en Berlín, Alemania, el miércoles 6 de abril de 2022
AP/MARKUS SCHREIBER - People from Ukraine, mostly refugees fleeing war, wait outside the Ukrainian Embassy Consulate in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

Such external earmarked revenue should constitute a specific contribution from Member States and other public or private donors to finance specific items of expenditure under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund for the period 2021-2027, and will allow for an additional measure of preparedness to finance asylum and migration activities in Member States during crises such as the one resulting from the invasion of Ukraine.

The support provided under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund for the period 2021-2027 should complement actions financed under other EU funds, in particular under Cohesion Policy, in order to maximise the impact of the available funding.