European Council addressed the implementation of its approach to migration, which combines more effective control of the EU’s external borders, increased external action and the internal aspects.
European Council notes that the number of detected illegal border crossings has been brought down to pre-crisis levels, and that the overall downward trend is continuing. This is the result of the external migration policy of the Union and its Member States, based, in particular, on control of the external borders, the fight against smugglers and cooperation with countries of origin and transit, which has been intensified in recent months. This policy should therefore be continued, further developed and fully implemented.
Vigilance on all existing and emerging routes should be maintained, in particular in view of recent increases on the Western and Eastern Mediterranean Routes.
As regards the internal policies, the European Council invites the co-legislators to rapidly conclude negotiations on the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG).
It welcomes the agreement reached at the level of the Council on 6 December 2018 with regard to enhancing the EBCG’s mandate in the area of return and cooperation with third countries. It also calls for further efforts to conclude negotiations on the Return Directive, on the Asylum Agency and on all parts of the Common European Asylum System, respecting previous European Council conclusions and taking into account the varying degree of progress on each of these files.