Migration policies, borders, visas and police cooperation are the three areas of the Internal Administration with an increased allocation of €168.3 million in the new Multiannual Financial Framework.
Portugal was the first Member State to submit in Brussels the national programmes for European funds for the area of home affairs for the next programming period (2021-2027). These three programmes, which had an increased allocation of €168.3 million, will now be negotiated with the European Commission until March 2022.
The Instrument for Financial Support for Border Management and Visa Policy (IGFV), with an initial allocation of €66.6 million, is the one with the most significant increase in relation to the previous framework (2014-2020). Portugal has a 234% increase in funding for initiatives related to integrated border management and short-stay visas.
Currently, this instrument has a 60% payment rate, according to data provided to ECO by the Ministry of Internal Administration. Lower than the 62% rate that Portugal 2020 (PT2020) presented at the end of June, according to the quarterly bulletin of the European Union funds.
This instrument aims to finance over the next seven years the expansion of the automatic passenger control; strengthen the quality and innovation of services provided to visa applicants and holders; maintain and strengthen the Integrated System of Surveillance and Coastal Control and qualify the Portuguese-Spanish Police and Customs Cooperation Centres.
The second most relevant fund from a financial point of view is the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) with €60.8 million allocation (an increase of 85.6% compared to the 2014-2020 framework). This fund, which serves to finance migration policies, namely the implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), integrating Third Country Nationals (TCNs) in the Portuguese society and economy and for implementing the principle of solidarity between the Member States and towards third countries targeted by disproportionate migration flows, currently has a 77% payment rate, i.e. higher than the PT2020 average.
With these €60.8 million, the government hopes to expand the national capacity for quality asylum reception; support alternatives to detention, pay particular attention to families with children and people in vulnerable situations; finance voluntary return operations of third-country nationals and support sustainable processes of reintegration in the countries of origin or reinforce the information strategy on legal migration channels to Portugal and the EU.
Finally, the last fund is the Internal Security fund, aimed at police cooperation, information exchange, cross-border cooperation and the prevention and fight against serious and organised crime, which will have a €40.9 million allocation.
At this level, the Government highlights the reinforcement of national support services for witnesses, informers and victims of crimes; the expansion of response capacity in the forensic and expert areas and the increase of information (de)encryption capacity, as well as the development of new databases.