EU pushes to curb Africa migration more, still split on hosting refugees | Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will discuss how to further curb immigration from across the Mediterranean over dinner on Thursday, but are as divided as ever on how to take care of refugees who still make it to Europe. Migrants, part of a group intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea, rest after arriving on a rescue boat at the Port of Malaga, Spain December 7, 2017.

Reuters December 13, 2017 01:16:52 IST
EU pushes to curb Africa migration more, still split on hosting refugees | Reuters

EU pushes to curb Africa migration more still split on hosting refugees  ReutersBRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will discuss how to further curb immigration from across the Mediterranean over dinner on Thursday, but are as divided as ever on how to take care of refugees who still make it to Europe. Migrants, part of a group intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea, rest after arriving on a rescue boat at the Port of Malaga, Spain December 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jon NazcaTheir chairman, Donald Tusk, proposed creating a new financing tool in the bloc’s next multi-year budget from 2021 to “stem illegal migration”, replacing the ad hoc calls for money that EU states have seen since arrivals peaked in 2015. Despite heavy criticism by human rights groups that it is aggravating the suffering of refugees and migrants on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, the EU is sticking to its policy of providing various kinds of assistance to the governments and U.N. agencies in the Middle East and Africa in order to prevent people making the trek north. While implementing these plans in some places, notably the lawless Libya, is proving difficult, all EU states and institutions in Brussels agree on the approach. However, the question of how to handle refugees who have made it to the EU is as divisive now as it was two years ago. Italy, Greece and other frontline states on the Mediterranean, as well as the rich destination countries such as Germany, want all member states to be obliged to take in a set allocation of asylum-seekers. But several eastern ex-communist EU members reject mandatory quotas, saying accepting Muslim refugees would undermine their sovereignty and security, and the homogeneous makeup of their societies. They want to help instead with money, equipment and personnel for controlling the bloc’s frontiers. The Commission is already suing Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for failing to take in their allotment of asylum-seekers from the peak of the EU’s migrant crisis in 2015. A barbed wire is seen in front of a European Union flag at an immigration reception centre in Bicske, Hungary June 25, 2015. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh DIVISIONS Recent proposals for future solutions go in opposite directions, giving little hope of a deal by the target date of June. The bloc’s current chair Estonia suggested sticking to the obligatory scheme when immigration is extremely high, but adding some flexibility by legislating that the receiving and sending states must agree on any relocation. That plan has been quickly dismissed as a non-starter by diplomats from several EU states. The bloc’s executive, the European Commission, proposed that the bloc approve compulsory and automatic relocation for times of mass immigration, but rely on voluntary help in normal circumstances. The European Parliament wants mandatory relocation at all times, regardless of migratory pressures. But now Tusk himself has also come out against quotas, telling EU leaders in a note that they had proven “highly divisive” and “ineffective”. The Commission’s migration chief, Dimitris Avramopoulos, told a news conference on Tuesday that Tusk’s paper was “undermining one of the main pillars of the European project - the principle of solidarity”. For now, immigration figures remain so low compared to the peak of 2015-2016 that the public pressure on EU leaders to come up with a quick fix has eased. That could yet change, however, with Italy’s parliamentary election next spring, coinciding with the start of a new migration season. Germany, currently consumed with trying to form a new government, has long suggested that if no consensus can be reached, an asylum reform could be passed by majority vote - something that would inevitably deepen the divisions and mistrust between member states.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Apple will enable storage of IDs like drivers licenses on iPhones
Business

Apple will enable storage of IDs like drivers licenses on iPhones

By Stephen Nellis (Reuters) -Apple Inc on Monday said it will offer the ability to store state-issued identification cards digitally on iPhones and that it is working with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to accept the digital IDs at airports, one of several updates to the software that runs on its devices. It also showed updates to its FaceTime video chat app, adding the ability to schedule calls with multiple attendees and making the software compatible with Android and Windows devices.

Airline bosses call on UK and U.S. to lift trans-Atlantic travel restrictions
Business

Airline bosses call on UK and U.S. to lift trans-Atlantic travel restrictions

LONDON (Reuters) - The bosses of all airlines flying passenger services between Britain and the United States called on Monday for the countries' governments to relax COVID-19 restrictions to reopen travel routes between the two countries. After more than a year of restrictions, the CEOs of American Airlines, IAG unit British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and JetBlue Airways Corp said high vaccination rates in both countries meant travel could restart safely. The push for reopening trans-Atlantic routes on Monday comes ahead of meetings between U.S.

EU patience wearing thin with UK on N.Ireland, weighing options
Business

EU patience wearing thin with UK on N.Ireland, weighing options

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's patience towards Britain over Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland is wearing thin and the bloc will consider its options should Britain continue its "confrontational path", an EU official said on Monday.