Skip to main content

Thirty-fourth Franco-British summit

Published on March 4, 2016
Statement on migration¹

Amiens, March 3, 2016

1. A scaled-up joint action to address the issues arising from migration pressure in the Calais region.

Joint declarations of 20 September 2014 and 20 August 2015 have laid down the framework of our common response to the challenges posed by migration flows, according to three priorities:

a. Security of the Port of Calais and the Channel Tunnel: the UK has contributed £63 million towards securing the Port and the Tunnel in the last year, including extra fencing and infrastructure, security guards, search dogs and detection technology. In parallel, French authorities have deployed more than 1,300 police officers to prevent intrusions and guarantee the security of persons and properties. Together, these actions have reinforced border security at the Port and the Tunnel against clandestine activity, and site incursions have dropped significantly. France and the United Kingdom will pursue their efforts in 2016.

b. Enhancing cooperation between French and UK security forces to better counter organized crime and fight against human trafficking. Our investigation services have strengthened their joint actions, leading to the dismantling of 28 networks in 2015 in Calais (14 in 2014). A joint information and coordination centre has also been set up in Calais. Two British liaison magistrates have been seconded to France, one of whom is specialized in combating immigration criminal networks in Calais. Our two countries are committed to pursuing and further strengthening this cooperation.
French and British services are actively cooperating so as to ensure the expulsion of illegal immigrants who cannot be regarded as asylum seekers, by pooling their resources (interpreting services, air transport) and cooperating jointly with the migrants’ states of origin. Thus, 1,700 migrants were expelled from the French territory in 2015.

c. Improving the reception of migrants. To that end, a particular attention has been given to the migrants who apply for asylum in France and hence are directed to special accommodation, as well as to those who agree to be relocated in another region and give up their plans to travel illegally to the United Kingdom. The French government has made available more than 2,000 additional places in 102 reception and guidance centres (CAO) throughout the French territory. Five hundred places are available in those centres and 500 more will be offered in the coming weeks.

Protecting the most vulnerable people is of paramount importance. In this respect, the United Kingdom has funded a project to detect and provide assistance to potential victims of human trafficking and exploitation in the camps. This action supplements France’s initiatives to improve the living conditions of migrants in Calais, especially women and children. A temporary reception centre of 1,500 places was opened on 11 January 2016 and hosts 1,300 migrants. In addition, 400 places have been mobilized to shelter vulnerable people and currently host 200 people.

France and the United Kingdom will pursue their cooperation with a view to significantly reducing the number of migrants present in Calais.

d. Recognising that further work in each of these areas is needed this year, and building on the significant financial investments already made, the UK is announcing today €22 million for Calais in 2016. This reinforced financial commitment,
administered by the UK-France Migration Committee, will be used for (i) priority security infrastructure in Calais to assist the work of the French police; (ii) efforts to move people from the camps to facilities provided elsewhere in France, and further support for the running of these facilities; and (iii) joint work to return migrants not in need of protection to their home countries.

e. France and the United Kingdom reaffirm their commitment to the principles underpinning the Dublin III Regulation, and in particular, the “responsibility of first entry member state” and the protection of vulnerable groups. On the latter, France and the United Kingdom pledge to work together to ensure more effective and efficient implementation of the Regulation. A British liaison officer has joined the French administration to help smooth the process.

2. Enhanced action on migration issues at European and international level
a. In the context of the current migration crisis, France and the United Kingdom fully support a more determined European response to contain migration flows and regain control of the external borders of the EU.

This means, in particular, the deployment of all hot spots in Italy and Greece. Their effective functioning has to be guaranteed so that: systematic and complete identification can be made; registration in the Eurodac database and security controls through the European SIS and SLTD databases ensured; secondary movement across the Schengen area prevented; and a proper assessment of status can be undertaken, including rapid return to the source countries for those not in need to protection.

b. Migrants not entitled to international protection will have to be returned to their home countries. In this context, it is crucial to conduct in-depth discussions at bilateral and European level with the principal countries of origin, in order for them to meet their obligations to take back their nationals.

To this end, France and the United Kingdom recall their commitments of 2 November 2015 on the coordination of their bilateral cooperation with third countries, which aims at:

- stepping up communication actions for migrants, in Europe and source countries, to deter them from economic and irregular migration;

- contributing to the effective establishment of the IOM multi-objective centre in Niger and provide joint support to that country with a view to strengthening border management and the fight against organized crime.

- conduct joint diplomatic actions to obtain travel documents, and enhance the effectiveness of deportation measures, for instance with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sudan;

- put in place common tools for the reintegration of deported migrants in the countries of origin that are especially cooperative as regards returns.

c. France and the United Kingdom will reinforce their financial assistance for and practical engagement with migrants’ countries of origin and transit, both in Sahel and Horn of Africa countries, taking into account the priorities set in the framework of the EU-Africa Valletta Summit on migration on 29 November 2015.

Consequently, they intend to enhance their dialogue to ensure projects presented to the forthcoming Operational Committee meeting of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, for the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa are based on sound evidence and deliver against the Valletta and Trust Fund Strategies.

d. France and the United Kingdom support the rapid adoption of the European Commission’s proposal on the creation of a European border guards and coastguards system.

¹Source of English text: UK government website.