The European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report “EU response to the refugee crisis: the ‘hotspot’ approach” on Tuesday 25 April 2017 at 11h30 in 23 EU languages.
The auditors assessed the implementation of the hotspot approach in Italy and Greece between May 2015 and September 2016. They examined if the necessary hotspots were set up in a timely manner and with sufficient capacity to address the needs, but also if the approach was effective in managing the flow of incoming migrants.
The report will point to the significant contribution of the hotspots approach to improving migration management in Italy and Greece, but also identify concerns and set out recommendations as regards capacity, the deployment of experts, roles and responsibilities, and the treatment of unaccompanied minors.
The EU Member States are primarily responsible for border control and asylum processing. The European Commission introduced the hotspot approach to help Greece and Italy cope with the sudden dramatic increase in migration during 2015 and 2016. It provides support aimed at ensuring irregular migrants are identified, registered and fingerprinted on arrival and then moved on to the relevant follow‐up procedures.
The hotspot approach further requires that migrants be channelled into appropriate follow-up procedures, i.e. a national asylum application, relocation to another Member State (where appropriate) or return to the country of origin (or transit).
The ECA’s special reports set out the results of its performance and compliance audits of specific budgetary areas or management topics. The ECA selects and designs these audit tasks to be of maximum impact by considering the risks to performance or compliance, the level of income or spending involved, forthcoming developments and political and public interest.