I am delighted to have a brief opportunity to contribute to the debate. The next meeting of the European Council will take place in Brussels tomorrow and Friday, where there will be discussions on migration, including reform of the Common European Asylum System, CEAS, the economy and multi-annual financial framework, PESCO and co-operation with NATO, and, most important for us, Brexit. On Sunday last, 16 of the 28 EU leaders held a mini-summit hosted by the Commission on the migration crisis. We have noted the fallout between the Council and the Commission regarding the organisation of that summit. It is clear that migration will be one of the most contentious issues on which to find consensus during the summit. A pan-European approach to migration is essential, particularly as we think of people who have died trying to cross into Europe because they wanted to migrate here.
Deputy Tommy Broughan recently asked a number of questions on behalf of the National Youth Council of Ireland. Two of these related to the amount of funding that was allocated to Ireland under the European Union Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund in 2014 and 2015; the amount of funding drawn down and to report on how this funding was spent. In a reply received by Minister of State, David Stanton, it was stated that “Ireland’s allocation under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund is €19.519 million and the eligibility period for expenditure extends to the end of 2022”.