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EU Migration and Homeaffairs

EMAS in Spain

In Spain, two Emergency Assistance (EMAS) projects funded by the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) were set up to ensure better reception and registration of migrants. The projects ran throughout 2021-2022, stabilising the situation on the ground after the significant increase of arrivals in 2020, and helped pave the way to a more sustainable and overall better integrated management of migration.

Working with the Red Cross to administer humanitarian aid

The first action was implemented by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration in cooperation with the Spanish Red Cross. Its purpose was to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants at disembarkation. Upon detection of embarkations by the Spanish authorities, Red Cross teams were immediately notified and activated to provide emergency assistance to newly arrived migrants. Among other things, these first measures include sanitary checks, provision of food and clothing, as well as access to shower facilities.

Speeding up international protection procedures with
data technology

The second action involved the distribution of technical equipment allowing the identification of irregular migrants arriving by sea. 67 live scanners were purchased, along with computers, printers, and device information extraction equipment, which were then distributed to police forces in Alicante, Almeria, Granada, Malaga, Murcia, Cadiz, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Ceuta, and Melilla. Using biometric technologies, this equipment improves the quality of the data registered and speeds up the transmission of fingerprints to the European Asylum Dactyloscopy Database (EURODAC), accelerating the processing of requests for international protection. These tools have already proven especially useful for the improvement of registration procedures in irregular border crossings in the case of massive arrivals.

The importance of Emergency Assistance

Since the New Pact on Migration and Asylum was proposed in September 2020, several concrete outcomes have been reached in the Member States. In Spain, EMAS projects proved highly effective in mobilising funds rapidly without the need for national co-financing. This was made clear when they were expanded to the Canary Islands following the 2020 crisis. Since then, the situation on the ground has improved noticeably. The migration management system in place has been adequately adjusted thanks to EMAS, with an increase in reception and monitoring capacity. Now that the situation has become more stable, AMIF will continue to support the national migration management system.

Link:, dated June 21, 2023 2:40 pm

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