The European Commission has proposed to almost triple funding for migration and border management in the next long-term EU budget – from €13bn to €34.9bn.

“Bigger challenges need bigger resources – this is why we propose to almost triple the budget in this area,” said the EU’s Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos. “The reinforced funding will be pivotal in ensuring that we can implement these political priorities: further secure our external borders, continue to grant protection to those who need it, better support legal migration and integration efforts, counter irregular migration, and effectively and swiftly return those who have no right to stay.”

Brussels’ proposal is a response to increased migratory, mobility and security challenges, with more flexible funding instruments to address unforeseen migratory events and border protection at the core of the new budget.

Plans include the creation of a new separate fund for integrated border management. Also, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will be further strengthened with a new standing corps of around 10,000 border guards. The new border fund will also help EU member states carry out customs controls by financing customs control equipment.

“Based on past experience and the knowledge that migration will remain a challenge in the future, we are proposing an unprecedented increase in funding,” said First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. “Strengthening our common EU borders, in particular with our European Border and Coast Guard, will continue to be a big priority. Increased flexibility of our funding instruments means we are ready to support Member States quickly; where they need it, when they need it – particularly in the event of crisis.”

According to the EU’s Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s 115,000 customs officials are on the frontline in protecting our citizens from counterfeit or unsafe goods and other forms of illicit trade.

“To support them in that vital task, we are today proposing a new fund worth €1.3bn, for EU countries to acquire the most cutting-edge customs equipment. The EU’s Customs Union celebrates its 50th anniversary next month: we must ensure that it continues to go from strength to strength.”

According to a Commission press release, the new fund will devote €4.8bn in long-term funding to support EU member states’ border management measures and visa policy. Another €3.2bn will be devoted to targeted support to member states, EU-level projects and to address urgent needs.

As regards migration, the Commission has proposed to increase funding by 51% to reach €10.4bn under the renewed Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF). The Fund will support Member States’ efforts in three key areas: asylum, legal migration and integration, and countering irregular migration and returns.

In addition, support to EU agencies in security, border and migration management will be increased from €4.2bn to €14bn.