Forslag til europaparlaments- og rådsforordning om endring av europaparlaments- og rådsforordning (EF) nr. 862/2007 om EF-statistikker over migrasjon og internasjonal beskyttelse
Proposal for Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics on migration and international protection
Forslag til europaparlaments- og rådsforordning lagt fram av Kommisjonen 16.5.2018
BAKGRUNN (fra kommisjonsforslaget, engelsk utgave)
Reasons for and objectives of the proposal
The Commission (Eurostat) regularly collects statistics on asylum and managed migration, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council. This Regulation and Commission Regulation (EU) No 216/2010, which defines the various categories of reasons for issuing residence permits, are the main instruments for mandatory statistics on asylum and managed migration. In addition, the Commission (Eurostat) collects statistics on migration-related administrative events on the basis of other legal instruments under which data collection is mandatory. These additional statistics refer to data on EU Blue Cards (Directive 2009/50/EC), single permits (Directive 2011/98/EU), seasonal workers (Directive 2014/36/EU), intra-corporate transfers (Directive 2014/66/EU), and researchers, students, trainees, volunteers, pupils and au pairs (Directive EU 2016/801). They are provided in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 862/2007.
Migration to the EU has changed radically in recent years. To address the challenges this change presents, the Commission has implemented and further developed the comprehensive migration policy presented in the European Agenda on Migration, the purpose of which is to improve the way migratory flows are managed, both within and outside the EU and that includes a mix of immediate actions to respond to the influx of migrants towards Europe and structural reform around four pillars: (i) reducing the incentives for irregular migration; (ii) border management: saving lives and securing external borders; (iii) Europe's duty to protect: a strong common asylum policy; (iv) a new policy on legal migration. In this context, stakeholders have repeatedly argued that there is a need to strengthen the evidence base in these areas.
The Commission has regularly acknowledged the need to improve the collection of statistics, particularly as regards the figures on the return of third-country nationals staying illegally in the EU, and as regards children. The Eurostat work programme for 2018 already prioritises responding to a new and more dynamic policy environment, with particular emphasis on asylum seekers and law enforcement in the migration field (including returns). It states that the existing legislation may be reviewed so as to address user priorities, including new and emerging requirements.
The content and the quality of the European migration statistics, produced in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 862/2007, meet certain needs. However, their shortcomings are becoming increasingly apparent, especially given recent developments in migration into the EU. Further data on several new types of migration and migrants are needed, and they need to be more precise, more frequent and timelier. The existing legal framework makes no provision for such data. So far, the new needs have been dealt with entirely voluntarily (i.e. with no revision of Regulation (EC) No 862/2007), on the basis of an agreement by the relevant expert group in cooperation with the Member States. Experience with return statistics, for instance, shows that this approach is not always efficient. The implication is that Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 should be revised and improved to ensure that the relevant statistics are more readily available.
Under the European Agenda on Migration, the European and national systems administering asylum and managed migration are evolving. Given the changing relevant characteristics of migration and migrants, there is a real need to improve the statistics on both in line with stakeholders' changing needs. This means making them more relevant, so as to build a stronger evidence base for policy-making and evaluation. This is why the Commission's Progress Report on the European Agenda on Migration mentions a clear need for specific amendments to Regulation (EC) No 862/2007, pointing to very precise improvements, especially as regards returns (more frequent statistics), resettlements, residence permits and migrant children. The most recent ‘Progress Report on the Implementation of the European Agenda on Migration’, which followed it, notes that the Commission is considering amending EU rules on the collection and the regularity of statistics on migration and international protection so as to ensure a comprehensive overview and address some of the gaps identified in the statistics available.
The issue is even more acute for EU-level policy-makers and policy evaluation. There is a clear demand to improve statistics on migration-related administrative events, to reflect recent and forthcoming policy changes and make the European Statistical System (ESS) more receptive to changes in migration itself and related EU-level policies. There is also a need to make sure that voluntary national transmissions of data are more complete and reliable. Moreover, a mechanism for further improving migration statistics needs to be developed, to make the ESS more responsive to any further developments in migration data requirements. Failure to upgrade European statistics in this domain is likely to rapidly widen existing gaps between the demand for such statistics and the supply available, especially for policy-making and evaluation, and thus to hold policymakers back from responding to future migration-related challenges on the basis of evidence.
The aim of this proposal is to support the European Agenda on Migration by providing EU policy and decision-makers with better and timelier policy-relevant statistics, and to strengthen the response to the challenges posed by migration. In particular, the initiative will upgrade European statistics on asylum and managed migration by providing a legal basis for statistics that are currently collected voluntarily.
By this token, the revision of Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 would improve completeness, accuracy, timeliness and certainty with respect to the existing voluntary transmissions of data by national authorities. In particular, it will ensure provision of statistics in areas where stakeholders have expressed clear needs - on asylum, returns (higher frequency), resettlement, residence permits and migrant children.
Looking beyond these specific and immediate needs, and to support future developments in migration policy in general, the revision will provide an embedded flexibility for further improvements to migration statistics. It will also allow for responsiveness in developing new migration indicators that will better support the ‘Agenda on Migration’ priorities, by providing an evidence base. Such flexibility will improve the quality of European statistics, mainly by making them more relevant.