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Working Paper: Guidelines on temporary arrangements for disembarkation

"Given the voluntary nature of participation in the mechanism, determination of persons to be relocated will be based on the indications by the Member States of relocation of the profiles that these Member States are willing to accept (variable geometry)."

"Member States that relocate voluntarily (a lump sum of 6000 EUR per applicant)."

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The Council of the European Union has produced a new "Working Paper" on: Guidelines on temporary arrangements for disembarkation (LIMITE doc no: WK 7219-19):

"The Guidelines are based on best practices used in previous disembarkation cases, and rely on a coordinating role of the Commission and support by relevant agencies. The framework is of a temporary nature and the participation of the Member States is on a voluntary basis. This document has a non-binding nature." [emphasis added]

The circumstances for "triggering" Temporary Arrangements (TA) are:

"type of arrivals covered

- a search and rescue operation; and/or

- other sea arrivals where there is a humanitarian ground at stake."

On the face of it the idea would appear to refer to just about every rescue. However the idea relies on the state of first disembarkation - for example, in the Med: Spain, France, Italy and Greece - allowing a safe port of arrival. These states then make a "relocation" request to other Member States. This is entirely based on voluntary participation.

"Workflow in the Member State of disembarkation

The following procedural steps should be undertaken in the Member State of disembarkation, where appropriate with the assistance from EU agencies, and where relevant with the involvement of the Member State of relocation, in agreement with the benefitting Member State:

(...) Initial identification, registration, fingerprinting and swift security screening: Registration and fingerprinting of all arriving migrants as category 2 in Eurodac system; check against national and EU information systems (such as Eurodac, SIS, VIS, Europol and Interpol databases) to ensure that none of the persons arriving to the EU is a threat to public policy, internal security or public health.

Assessment regarding possible use of alternatives to detention or detention, on a case by case basis, pending further processing (in the context of border procedure, where possible, or otherwise)"

Member states will be allowed to set conditions on acceptable refugees to relocate:

"Given the voluntary nature of participation in the mechanism, determination of persons to be relocated will be based on the indications by the Member States of relocation of the profiles that these Member States are willing to accept (variable geometry)."

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCGA) will:

"provide assistance in screening, debriefing, identification and fingerprinting;

- deploy Return Teams (composed of escort, forced return monitor and/or return specialists);"

Financial support

"Under the AMIF Regulation, funds are to be made available for:

- Member States that relocate voluntarily (a lump sum of 6000 EUR per applicant, applying the amended Article 18 of the AMIF Regulation 516/2014);

- support to return operations;

- Member States under pressure, as appropriate, including the possibility of a lump sum per relocation to cover transfer costs.

- When MS make full use of the lump sums available under the national programmes, additional financial support could be provided.

Background

See previous Working Paper which refers to third countries: Regional Disembarkation Arrangements (pdf)

UN sets conditions for EU 'disembarkation platforms' - full-text of the letter from the IOM and UNHCR (Statewatch News)

Relying on relocation: ECRE's proposal for a predictable and fair relocation arrangement following disembarkation (link to pdf)

Commission: Non-paper on regional disembarkation arrangements (pdf)

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