Skip to main content
European Commission logo
Migration and Home Affairs

Consultation on "Tackling migrant smuggling: is the EU legislation fit for purpose?"

Policy field(s)

Home Affairs; Immigration; Irregular Migration

Target group(s)

All citizens (EU nationals and non-EU nationals) and organisations are welcome to contribute. Contributions are sought from persons, Member States, EU Institutions, local, regional and national authorities, international organisations, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, third countries, social partners and civil society.

The Commission would in particular like to encourage members of the following target groups to participate:

  • Public authorities, such as EU Member States' migration and border control authorities, consular authorities, national police forces, judiciary, members of a Member State's administration responsible for asylum applications or members of a Member State's general administration;
  • Organisations (including international organisations, non-governmental organisations, think-tanks, etc.), in particular working in the sector of migration and human rights;
  • Enterprises, especially in the field of transport by rail, road, sea and air;
  • Academia;
  • Private individuals, including third-country nationals migrants and asylum seekers that have entered or transited across the EU or intend to migrate to the EU.

Period of consultation

From 13/01/2016 to 6/04/2016

Objective of the consultation

The aim of this consultation is to collect opinions to underpin the on-going evaluation and impact assessment of the EU legislation on migrant smuggling, and to gather views on what improvements could be made to this legislation.

This legislation is composed of a package of two instruments, Directive 2002/90/EC and Framework Decisions 2002/946/JHA, adopted together in 2002.The EU has also approved the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Its revision was identified as a priority action to enhance prevention and fight against migrant smuggling by the EU Agenda on Migration as well as the EU Action Plan against Migrant Smuggling, adopted by the Commission on 13 and 27 May 2015 respectively.

For more information you may find it useful to refer to the background document and glossary which are published alongside this consultation.

This public consultation is addressed to the broadest public possible, as it is important to get views and input from all stakeholders (individuals, governmental organisations, NGOs, private enterprises, etc.). The questions seek to elicit your opinions and thoughts on a range of issues relating to migrant smuggling, such as the definition of the offence of facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence, the exclusion of sanctions on those providing humanitarian assistance to migrants in distress, the level of penalties, the possibility of inclusion of provisions on freezing and confiscation of migrant smugglers’ assets, etc. Input on these issues will help evaluate the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added-value of the current EU legislation on migrant smuggling in meeting its objectives, and to gather views on what improvements could be made to the existing legislation.

How to submit your contribution

You can contribute to this public consultation by filling out the online questionnaire. If you have any questions about this consultation, please don't hesitate to e-mail us at:

Replies may be submitted in any EU official language. Given possible delays in translating comments submitted in some languages, contributions in English are welcome, as they will help the Commission to process the survey more swiftly.

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, the Commission asks organisations (including NGOs, trade associations, enterprises etc.) who wish to participate in public consultations to provide the Commission and the public with information about whom and what they represent, their objectives, funding and structures, by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct.

  • If you are a Registered organisation, please fill in your Register ID number in the questionnaire. Your contribution will then be considered as representing the views of your organisation.
  • If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to register now. Then return to this page to submit your contribution as a Registered organisation.

If an organisation decides not to provide this information, it is the Commission's stated policy to list the contribution as part of the individual contributions (Consultation Standards, see COM (2002) 704, and Communication on ETI Follow-up, see COM (2007) 127 of 21/03/2007). These replies will be published separately.

Disclaimer and data protection

The objective of this consultation is to gather the views of stakeholders and others, possibly for publication on the internet. The questions do not reflect the European Commission’s official position and in no way prejudge any decisions it may take in future on the framework for labour migration. As this online service collects and further processes personal data, it is subject to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet, unless you provide a substantial justification for your opposition to the publication of your contribution. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

The Commission stores personal data securely and does not share it with other parties. It will be entered in a list of contact details shared internally among Commission staff for the purpose of contacting you in the context of the Commission’s activities in the future. If you do not agree to this, please send an explicit objection to the Controller using the contact information included in the privacy statement.

Reference documents and other, related consultations

Results of consultation and next steps

Contact details

  • Responsible service:
    European Commission
    DG Migration and Home Affairs
    Unit C1 – Irregular Migration and Return Policy
  • E-mail:
  • Postal address:
    European Commission
    DG Migration and Home Affairs
    Unit C1 – Irregular Migration and Return Policy
    B - 1049 Bruxelles / Brussels
    Belgique / België

Deadline: from 07/04/2016 to: 07/04/2016