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Migration: Commission proposes EU Action Plan on Central Mediterranean. “More coordinated approach on research and rescue”

The second pillar of the EU Action Plan on the Central Mediterranean presented today concerns “a more coordinated approach on search and rescue”. “The Action Plan proposes measures to strengthen cooperation between Member States and all actors involved in search and rescue activities in the Central Mediterranean, using the European Contact Group on Search and Rescue that was announced as part of the New Pact. Frontex, together with the concerned Member States, will carry out an assessment of the situation in the Central Mediterranean. Closer coordination will be ensured with the UNHCR and IOM”. Discussions should also be promoted in the International Maritime Organization “on the need for a specific framework and guidelines for vessels with a particular focus on search and rescue activities”. The third pillar is “reinforcing the implementation of the Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism and the Joint Roadmap”. The Commission also points out that the “Solidarity Declaration agreed on 22 June 2022 provides a voluntary and temporary mechanism for one year, bridging towards the future permanent system under the Pact. The Action Plan proposes to accelerate the implementation of the mechanism, including to provide swift support to Member States receiving arrivals by sea, enhancing flexibility, streamlining processes, and implementing the financing of alternative measures of solidarity”. The Commission will present the Action Plan to the Council in view of the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on 25 November. The EU “will remain vigilant” on other migratory routes (from Turkey and along the Balkans).

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