Today the Commission is launching a public consultation on new actions to be taken at EU level to address migrant smuggling. The Commission is calling for contributions from individuals and organisations and in particular from people who have experienced or have been affected by smuggling. The consultation invites feedback on new actions on information exchange, police and judicial cooperation, digital smuggling (involving the use of social networks), prevention and awareness raising, cooperation with non-EU countries and international organisations, as well as the protection of migrants’ rights. The consultation is open for 8 weeks and will run until 14 May. Its results will inform the upcoming EU action plan against migrant smuggling for the period 2021-2025. The plan will build on previous EU initiatives to strengthen Europol such as the European Migrant Smuggling Centre and improved information exchange through the European multidisciplinary cooperation platform against criminal threats (known as EMPACT), the European network of immigration liaison officers and the EU Internet Referral Unit. As part of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum presented in September 2020, the Commission issued guidance on the Facilitation Directive urging Member States to distinguish between humanitarian assistance and facilitating irregular entry or transit and also indicated it will assess the effectiveness of the Employers’ Sanctions Directive to determine the need for further action. The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, has also published a blog article today encouraging all interested parties to contribute the consultation.
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