Migration and asylum are significant phenomena in today’s world. Traditionally, each EU Member State has built its own policies in these sensitive areas. But developments such as the removal of internal border controls across most of the EU have made the case for greater coherence. This relatively recent cooperation has resulted in the development of an EU framework, including legally binding instruments, such as those under the Common European Asylum System.
To support financially the internal dimension of this policy area, the EU had four different funds for 2007-13. Under the umbrella of a programme on solidarity and management of migration flows (SOLID), their resources were €4 billion. Examining the European Refugee Fund and the Integration Fund, the European Court of Auditors noted that most audited projects gave positive results, but highlighted a number of weaknesses to be addressed.
For 2014-20, the European Commission has proposed to simplify funding programmes in this area, reducing their number to two. In trilogue, the European Parliament and the Council have agreed to establish an Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and an Internal Security Fund (ISF, with a specific instrument for external borders and visa). Pending final adoption through the ordinary legislative procedure, the AMIF and the ISF external borders & visa tool should be endowed with €3.1 billion and €2.8 billion respectively. In total, this represents just over 0.5% of the overall EU budget up to 2020.