Although the movements of persons into, out of and within each EU Member State vary, our societies share similar migration challenges and opportunities. This is all the more significant for the EU as an area without internal borders. Therefore, EU States have decided to join forces. Through practical cooperation, information sharing and the synchronisation of national responses to migration, they have set up a common, comprehensive approach to migration management. This approach is underpinned by the General Programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" (SOLID).
For the period 2007–13, the General Programme SOLID allocates almost EUR 4 billion to ensure the fair sharing of responsibilities between EU Member States for the financial burden that arises from the integrated management of the Union's external borders and from the implementation of common asylum and immigration policies. The four funding instruments that make up the General Programme SOLID 2007 - 2013 are:
External Borders Fund (EBF):
Actions funded: Infrastructure and equipment for EU external borders and visa policy, national components of SIS/VIS.
European Return Fund (RF):
Actions funded: Voluntary and forced return, joint return operations, cooperation between EU Countries and Countries of return, improving return management, reintegration assistance in the country of return.
European Refugee Fund (ERF):
Actions funded: Capacity building (asylum procedures, reception infrastructure), integration of refugees, resettlement and emergency measures.
European Integration Fund (EIF):
Actions funded: Provision of integration measures, such as language courses, courses of civic orientation, and pre-departure measures prior to their integration in EU Countries.
Through these instruments, the EU not only seeks to strengthen its common migration, asylum and border policies, but also to uphold European solidarity, so that those EU States that face the largest financial burden are adequately supported.
SOLID Funds in Malta
The Funds and Programmes Division within the Ministry for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto is the designated National Responsible Authority for the management of the General Programme SOLID 2007-2013.
The mission statement of the National Responsible Authority is to manage, in shared management with the European Commission, the General Programme SOLID by ensuring in a transparent manner, the optimal distribution and absorption of such funds amongst stakeholders whilst improving the management of migratory flows at the level of the European Union and strengthening solidarity between Member States.