During an improvised, small-group meeting at the third EPC summit, Italy, UK, France, Netherlands, Albania, and the European Commission agreed to an eight-point plan to address growing levels of illegal migration to mainland Europe together.
The plan expresses a shared commitment to support one another to tackle the challenges of irregular migration. The participants committed to:
- Take robust action, together and in cooperation with partner countries, to tackle migrant smuggling along the routes and at external borders, including through joint action to close down the supply chains of organised gangs through information exchange, operational cooperation, measures to stop all vessels involved in smuggling and awareness raising campaigns.
- Update the legal framework to strengthen the fight against people smugglers, ensuring harmonisation of criminal offences and working together at the UN level with the UNODC.
- Develop comprehensive partnerships with key countries to address root causes of migration and support sustainable development through education, job creation and climate adaptation actions.
- Support partner countries to strengthen border protection to prevent unauthorised border crossings, as well as search and rescue capacities, through the deployment of personnel, equipment, and other material.
- Support partner countries, including through UNHCR and IOM, providing adequate levels of funding to ensure an appropriate response to mixed movements by ensuring protection and enhancing assisted voluntary return and reintegration.
- Strengthen cooperation on return and readmission supporting one another through a network of liaison officers in partner countries, sharing of expertise, diplomatic outreach and return operations.
- Provide opportunities of humanitarian admission and resettlement to those entitled to protection, and other legal pathways in line with our respective legal orders.
- Strengthen cooperation on visa policy and recognise the importance of effective visa regimes in controlling irregular migration and ensuring cooperation on readmissions.