EU High Representative Mogherini on 25 June presented EU foreign ministers with the second annual report on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, outlining substantial progress in bolstering the EU's role as a global actor.
Every minute, every day, nearly 31 people are forcibly displaced. Today, more than 68.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflicts and violence, persecution, natural disasters or the very real consequences of climate change –25.4 million of them are refugees.
In 2017 every 2 seconds one person was forced to flee their home due to war, persecution or violence. With millions of people in need on a record high the European Union continues its work with partners around the world to address the humanitarian challenges and to provide long-term support. Last year, €2 billion of the EU's humanitarian budget was allocated to help displaced people and host communities in 49 countries. And EU Member States have granted protection to more than 538 000 people.
On 18 June 2018, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) released its 2017 Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union. In 2017, there were 728,470 applications for international protection in the EU. This figure represents a decrease of 44% compared to 2016, when there were almost 1.3 million applications, while provisional data for early 2018 (January - April) shows that application levels have stabilised at an average of less than 50,000 per month.
For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the European Commission is proposing to increase the external action budget to €123 billion, to significantly simplify its structure, and make it much more flexible and effective to address today's global challenges.
On 14 June, the Council transposed into EU law sanctions adopted by the United Nations on 7 June, imposing a travel ban and an asset freeze on six human traffickers and smugglers operating in Libya, four of Libyan nationality and two of Eritrean nationality. The individuals targeted by the sanctions are key figures in human trafficking and migrant smuggling activities in and around Libya.
The European Union is the world’s biggest donor of development assistance, the first trading partner and the first foreign investor for almost every country in the world. As a Union promoting peace, stability and exporting its values and rules, it is faced with many challenges as well as opportunities in an increasingly complex and connected world. Prosperity and peace in the EU’s neighbourhood has a positive impact on the EU’s own prosperity.
The European Commission has released €40 million in humanitarian aid to provide life-saving support to vulnerable Rohingya civilians and host communities in Bangladesh and across Myanmar's Rakhine State. This comes on top of the €51 million the Commission mobilised in 2017.
The EU adopts new programmes and projects of €467 million and continues to deliver on its commitments to assist vulnerable migrants and refugees as well as address root causes of irregular migration. Thanks to EU-IOM joint work, 150 migrants received assistance to return from Libya to Mogadishu, Somalia, today.