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Home affairs funds: Council supports provisional agreements on the main elements for funding migration, border and security policies

The EU is increasing the scope of its funding for measures in the fields of migration, border management and security, so as to address growing challenges in these areas.

EU ambassadors recently (16 December 2020) supported the provisional agreements reached between the Council Presidency and the European Parliament on the main political elements of three sectoral proposals for the funding of home affairs policies, in the context of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF).

Discussions between the Council Presidency and the European Parliament will now continue at technical level on the remaining aspects. Once those are agreed, the texts will need to be adopted by both institutions.

Asylum and migration fund

This fund will equip the EU with the necessary tools to respond to evolving migration challenges, both within the EU and in cooperation with other countries. It sets four specific objectives: asylum policy, legal migration and integration, irregular migration and returns, and solidarity and responsibility sharing between member states. Minimum percentages of the funds are linked to some of the objectives, with a minimum of 15% allocated towards each of the objectives on asylum and on legal migration in the member states’ programmes, and 20% of resources allocated to the solidarity objective in the thematic facility. 5% of the thematic facility will target local and regional authorities to assist them in integration of third country nationals.

Under the solidarity objective, the fund will increase the incentives for transfers of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection between member states. Incentives for admission of persons through resettlement and humanitarian admission will also continue.

The asylum and migration fund also covers actions in or in relation to third countries, while acknowledging the role of other EU funds intended to address external action.

Instrument for financial support for border management and visa

The agreed text reflects recent developments such as the expansion of the European Border and Coast Guard, the modernisation of the common visa policy and the development and interoperability of large-scale IT systems (including the European travel information and authorisation system and the entry exit system).

Under the new instrument, a minimum of 10% of the member states’ programmes will be allocated to the visa policy, while the maximum percentage for operating support in the programmes has been increased to 33% of the funding. The co-financing rates for priority actions, such as measures to improve the interoperability of IT systems, have been increased.

The new provisions also enhance simplification, flexibility, cost-effectiveness and cooperation and coordination between national authorities. The assets purchased with a financial contribution from this instrument will also be used in other areas, including customs, maritime operations or to achieve the objectives of the other two home affairs funds.

Internal security fund

The fund builds on the current one and adapts it to new developments, such as the need to intensify the fight against terrorism, serious and organised crime and cybercrime. It will support measures to improve the exchange of information, to intensify cross-border cooperation, including joint operations on terrorism and organised crime, and to strengthen capabilities to prevent and combat crime.

Funding for the purchase of equipment has been increased in the member states’ programmes to a maximum of 35%, while that for operating support has been raised to a maximum of 20%. Decentralised agencies will be exceptionally eligible for funding when they assist in the implementation of EU actions falling within their competence and those actions are not covered by the EU contribution to their budget through the annual budget.


On 13 June 2018, as part of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) package, the Commission issued three sectoral proposals in the area of home affairs. Drawing from lessons learned, and taking into account new policy developments, the Commission proposed a significant reinforcement of the EU budget in the areas of migration, borders and security.

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