A more open and secure Europe requires adequate funding that is directed to those policy areas where we are facing collective challenges and in which EU funds can truly make a difference. Part of EU funding is also dedicated to EU Home Affairs agencies, which play a key role in implementing operational cooperation between EU States.
AMIF and ISF Funds
As is reflected in the post-Stockholm Communication, we are faced with challenges which require common European responses. Although the share of Home Affairs in the EU budget is less than 1% and in order to continue implementation of existing policies and to be able to respond effectively to those new challenges, the overall resources for Home Affairs have increased compared to the previous period (2007-13), now amounting to EUR 9.26 billion. This increase in the available resources for Home Affairs underlines the importance of this policy area at the EU level and ensures adequate support for building a more open and secure Europe.
The current Home Affairs financial instruments include two Funds:
In order to improve and simplify the way in which EU funding is delivered, the number of financial instruments has been reduced compared to the previous financial framework. More flexible rules for implementation will also allow for a faster and more effective response to challenges in all areas of Home Affairs policies.
- During the 2014-20 period, funding will continue to be mainly implemented under shared management (meaning a joint effort of EU States and the European Commission). Streamlined procedures give EU States the opportunity to support those actions with EU funding where it is needed the most.
- In addition to actions which address the specific needs of EU States, Specific Actions are designed to respond to specific Union priorities, such as for instance joint processing of asylum applications, joint return operations, setting up of joint migration centres and common visa application centres etc. These kinds of actions often require the cooperation of multiple EU States.
- Funding for EU States' programmes is moreover complemented by directly managed funding (on the initiative of the Commission) for specific transnational or particularly innovative initiatives which can be of benefit to the EU as a whole (“Union Actions” – formerly Community Actions). A flexible emergency response mechanism (“emergency assistance”) will also be a part of this direct management.
- For Funds under shared management, a system of results-driven, multi-annual programming will be applied. For each of the two Funds, EU States will present their National Programmes for the period 2014-20 which will then be approved by the Commission.
- In this programming phase, an important focus is placed on choosing those actions that will help ensure that the Funds deliver against their key objectives. This requires strategic thinking and finding a common understanding of the priorities for the seven-year period, in order to close the gap between the policy objectives and the reality on the ground in the EU States.
The external component of the Funds allows the EU to fund actions related to non-EU countries which have a direct impact in the EU and on its citizens. By using the EU Home Affairs Funds, it will be possible to improve the link between the internal and external dimension of Home Affairs policies.
Industry for Security
The Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge "Secure societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens" is about undertaking the research and innovation activities needed to protect our citizens, society and economy as well as our infrastructures and services. Grants vary from modest amounts for academic inquiry and studies to large-scale technology demonstration projects with budgets of EUR 20 million or more.
Drug Policy Initiatives
Four EU financial programmes provide funding for drug-related projects between 2014-2020, to help implement the objectives set by the EU Drugs Strategy 2013-2020 and to foster cross-border cooperation and research on drug issues. They are the above mentioned Interanal Security Fund, the Justice Programme, the Health Programme and Horizon 2020.
Europe for Citizens Programme
The aim of this programme is to contribute to citizens' understanding of the EU, its history and diversity and foster European citizenship and improve conditions for civic and democratic participation at EU level. The overall resources for the implementation of the Programme for the period from 2014 - 2020 are set at over 185 million euro. The programme supports specific activities and provides operating grants.