New migration plans "dangerous and self-serving"

01 July, 2018, 16:50 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Protestors hold signs and chant during a demonstration outside of an EU summit in Brussels Thursday

European Union leaders have reached what they describe as a "breakthrough" deal on migration that envisions European Union countries voluntarily establishing "control centers" to process migrants rescued at sea while also seeking to establish such centers outside Europe. But Conte's government recently stopped taking in boats carrying migrants to Italy's ports.

"We worry that children will be detained", UNICEF spokeswoman Sarah Crowe told dpa in Geneva, after EU leaders agreed to set up so-called "controlled centers" on European soil where migrants would be held while their asylum requests are processed.

Inside Europe, the proposed centers would house migrants until they are screened, with the idea of deciding their fate more efficiently and sending back those who do not qualify as refugees.

"I am optimistic after today that we can now really continue to work, although we have a lot to do, even bridging the different views", she said.

"On EU territory, those who are saved, according to global law, should be taken charge of, on the basis of a shared effort, through the transfer in controlled centres set up in Member States, only on a voluntary basis".

On a visit to Tripoli this week, the Italian anti-migration interior minister, Matteo Salvini, called for a processing centre on the country's southern border to prevent migrants being "funnelled" through Libya north to Italy.

The European Council agrees on launching the second tranche of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey and at the same time on transferring 500 million euro from the 11th EDF reserve to the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

Outside Europe, centers would be created to reduce the number of migrants who risk the sea voyage to the Continent and to disrupt the black economy of people-smuggling.

Before the dinner clash over migration started, Conte refused to endorse a summit text on security and trade until other leaders had bowed to his demands to help Italy manage the Mediterranean arrivals.

The Prime Minister said she hoped a new phase in the Brexit talks would be possible after the publication of the Government's White Paper calling for negotiations to speed up and intensify once the document is published.

"Member states should take all necessary internal legislative and administrative measures to counter such movements and closely cooperate amongst each other to this end", the conclusions said.

Migration has become a point of contention for Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany.

The Council also failed to adopt any decisive measures to deal with the appalling human rights violations refugees and migrants suffer in Libya, including as a result of the EU's own support to Libyan authorities. But setting up any such center would be a significant change from the current system, under which migrants must be screened in the European country where they first arrive and are registered.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz shared Orban's opinion about the solution, "We have always been calling for these protected areas, safe zones, landing centers, however one wants to call them, outside of Europe ― this idea has now prevailed". In addition, the European Union will invest more money in African nations that are the main sources of migration.

"I do sympathise with Italy - they are facing the whole burden", he said, but he also urged Conte to be sensitive to the pressures facing other leaders, particularly on migrants' movements within the EU.

In a section particularly appreciated by Malta and Italy, the 28 leaders agreed to release the second three-billion-euro tranche of the fund to help refugees in Turkey and to contribute to the European Union fund for Africa, in order to slow migration into Europe at its starting point.

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