Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

European Union gets migration deal after marathon talks but differences remain

European Union gets migration deal after marathon talks but differences remain

The accord, however, makes history by pledging to work in close cooperation with third-party countries, UNHCR and IOM, to swiftly explore the concept of regional disembarkation platforms.

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.

However the claim included in the document that Germany has secured deals with 14 European Union member states to take back asylum-seekers already registered in those countries was quickly thrown into doubt.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said Europe had made "a step in the right direction" on migration as she prepared to return to Germany to meet her coalition partners ahead of Monday's deadline to find a solution to stop flows of asylum seekers arriving from southern Europe.

With the EU bloc deeply divided over migration, with some member states more directly affected than others, several Central European states have rejected an EU scheme which would seek to relocate 160,000 refugee camps in Greece and Italy, of which are vastly overcrowded.

Speaking of his pleasure at a deal on migration being reached, Italy's new hardline Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: "Italy is no longer alone after this European Union summit".

Leaders agreed that "controlled centres" should be set up in member states on a voluntary basis for "rapid and secure" processing to distinguish between irregular migrants and refugees eligible for asylum.

Currently, Libya is a major transit point for migrants and refugees heading to Europe, but the United Nations has repeatedly warned about rights violations linked to detention centers there - including slavery - and by human traffickers.

The 27 leaders also expressed concern that "no substantial progress has yet been achieved on agreeing a backstop solution for Ireland/Northern Ireland".

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Migrants are crossing the Mediterranean in far lower numbers than at their peak in 2015, but the influx remains a source of bitter contention in Europe.

As EU states and others debate how best to respond to the crisis of migration, it is essential to comprehend the global rise in forced displacement, including a sharp increase in those seeking safety across the sea.

President of the Eurpoean Council Donald Tusk confirmed the news through twitter.

"Italy is not alone anymore", he said.

Diplomats were left uneasy about the negotiating method of Italy's new prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, who pushed the summit to the brink of collapse by threatening to veto the entire summit communique, including unrelated parts on trade.

"It's possible to begin a turnaround in migration today", said Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who took power previous year in a coalition with a far-right party on an anti-immigration platform.

Ms Merkel's pro-European stance and her decision to open Germany's borders to more than 1.4 million migrants since 2015 have earned her a reputation as a defender of liberal values, while also making her the main target of far-right and populist forces across the Continent.

"Europe is really rolling the dice", said Jill Goldenziel, an associate professor at the Marine Corps University, who is writing a book on the global migration crisis.

For years Europe's most powerful leader, Merkel risks seeing her fragile coalition collapse if she can not reach deals with Italy and other countries to stop migrants initially arriving in those countries from moving on to Germany. Remote vetting would also let the European Union avoid the quandary of what to do with migrants whose asylum applications are denied but who come from counties with which Europe doesn't have deportation agreements. "And these are the same people who have shot at us, who have kidnapped us", said Capt. Riccardo Gatti.

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