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Internal Security Fund - Instrument of financial support for external borders and visas

Internal Security Fund – Instrument of financial support for external borders and visas

Internal Security Fund – Instrument of financial support for external borders and visas is a new financial mechanism established for the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020.

Objectives of the Fund

The general objective of the Instrument shall be to contribute to ensuring a high level of security in the European Union while facilitating legitimate travel, through uniform and high level control of the external borders and the effective processing of Schengen visas, in compliance with the Union’s commitment to fundamental freedoms and human rights.

Within the general objective, the Instrument shall contribute – in accordance with the priorities identified in relevant Union strategies, programmes, threat assessments and risk assessments – to meeting the following specific objectives:

  1. supporting a common visa policy to facilitate legitimate travel, provide a high quality of service to visa applicants, ensure equal treatment of third-country nationals and tackle illegal immigration;
  2. supporting integrated border management, including promoting further harmonisation of border management–related measures in accordance with common Union standards and through the sharing of information between Member States and between Member States and the Frontex Agency, to ensure, on one hand, a uniform and high level of control and protection of the external borders, including by the tackling of illegal immigration and, on the other hand, the smooth crossing of the external borders in conformity with the Schengen acquis, while guaranteeing access to international protection for those needing it, in accordance with the obligations contracted by the Member States in the field of human rights, including the principle of non–refoulement.

To achieve the above objectives referred, the Instrument shall contribute to the following operational objectives:

  1. promoting the development, implementation and enforcement of policies with a view to ensuring the absence of any controls on persons, whatever their nationality, when crossing the internal borders, and to carrying out checks on persons and monitoring efficiently the crossing of external borders;
  2. gradually establishing an integrated management system for external borders, based on solidarity and responsibility, in particular by means of:
  • the reinforcement of external border checks and surveillance systems and of inter–agency cooperation between border guards, customs, migration, asylum and law enforcement authorities of Member States at the external borders, including in the maritime border area;
  • measures within the territory relating to the management of external borders and the necessary flanking measures on document security, identity management and the interoperability of acquired technical equipment;
  • any measures also contributing to the prevention and fight against cross–border crime at external borders relating to the movement of persons, including trafficking in human beings and human smuggling.
  1. promoting the development and implementation of the common policy on visas and other short–stay residence permits, and of different forms of consular cooperation in order to ensure better consular coverage and harmonised practices on visa issuing;
  2. setting up and running IT systems, their communication infrastructure and equipment that support the common visa policy, border checks and border surveillance at the external borders and fully respect personal data protection law;
  3. reinforcing situational awareness at the external borders and the reaction capabilities of Member States;
  4. ensuring the efficient and uniform application of the Union’s acquis on borders and visas, including the effective functioning of the Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism;
  5. reinforcing actions by the Member States contributing to enhancing the cooperation between Member States operating in third countries as regards the flows of third–country nationals into the territory of Member States, including prevention and tackling of illegal immigration, as well as the cooperation with third countries in that respect in full coherence with the objectives and principles of Union external action and humanitarian policy.

National Programme

In the framework of AMIF, each Member State shall submit its National Programme to the European Commission for approval. It is a multi–annual programme that covers subsequent fiscal years in the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020. It shall serve as a guidance document for all measures planned for implementation in the framework of the Fund.

Specific actions

Specific actions are additional projects to which the European Commission has allocated an additional envelope, independent of the amounts allocated to each Member State under the Fund. Individual National Programmes shall contain information about projects that will receive funding from the European Commission; they shall be included in the National Programme of the state acting as project leader.