EU Summit On Refugees

Charlene Craig
July 1, 2018

But Conte's government recently stopped taking in boats carrying migrants to Italy's ports.

"Regional disembarkation platforms" where migrants and refugees would be processed in non-EU countries, will be "swiftly explored" under the deal, according to the BBC.

Italy will block a summit of European Union countries from issuing a joint statement on a range of important regional issues until representatives commit to taking in more migrants, a diplomat told CNN on Thursday.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, regardless of her own personal convictions on the responsibilities of the European Union, and especially Germany, in dealing with the crisis, is facing mounting pressure from within her own government coalition to address the situation.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: "Today Italy is no longer alone".

"On EU territory, those who are saved, according to worldwide law, should be taken charge of, on the basis of a shared effort, through the transfer in controlled centers set up in Member States, only on a voluntary basis", read the 10-page statement that also encompassed security and defense. "Redistribution and relocation will be voluntary, so no one can force migrants on us", the Czech Republic's Babis wrote on Twitter.

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While details were sketchy, the leaders agreed in principle, at least, on how to shore up their external borders and create screening centers for migrants, to decide more quickly whether or not they are legitimate refugees.

Such platforms would differentiate between economic migrants and those in need of global protection and reduce the incentive to embark on perilous journeys.

In recent weeks, vessels with rescued migrants and refugees on board have been left stranded in the Mediterranean after they were barred from docking.

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose government said it had enough of migrants landing from Libya, succeeded in furthering his agenda of asking for greater solidarity from other European Union states after threatening to sink the summit.

France will not build migrant control centers on its territory given that, unlike Greece Italy and Spain, the country was not on the front-line of the migrant crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday. "I understand Germany says, 'Why do we have to deal with everything?'"Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, said that the discussion was a "very important moment" for Europe".

The majority of people in Central, Eastern and Southern European countries are opposed to migration and see an importance in preserving Christian culture, according to a new survey conducted by Nézőpont Institute.

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The summit was supposed to unfold a compromise on this European legislation which entrusts responsibility for processing an asylum application to the country of first entry.

EU President Donald Tusk issued a fresh warning on the need for action on migration to stave off rising populism and authoritarianism, saying that "the stakes are high and time is short".

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.

Her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, had signaled that he would block asylum seekers at the Bavarian border if the chancellor couldn't strike some kind of immigration deal.

Imogen Sudbery at the International Rescue Committee said the "disembarkation platforms" raise more questions.

The leaders agreed to establish voluntary screening centers on European soil, to ease the burden on countries like Italy, Spain and Greece where migrants first arrive and are registered.

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