EU Ambassadors Overcome Divisions, Reach Accord on Migration Policy Reform

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2023-10-05 | 10:40
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EU Ambassadors Overcome Divisions, Reach Accord on Migration Policy Reform
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EU Ambassadors Overcome Divisions, Reach Accord on Migration Policy Reform

Amid the European Union's confusion over the migrant crisis, with an increasing influx across the Mediterranean, EU ambassadors reached an agreement on the main text of "reforming migration policy in Europe" during their meeting in Brussels. This breakthrough came despite Italian reservations and occurred before the European Union summit on Friday in Spain.

What does the agreement entail?

-         Establishing an exceptional system with less protection for asylum seekers than standard procedures in case of a "massive and unprecedented" flow of migrants.

-         The agreement extends the possibility of detaining migrants at the external borders of the European Union for up to 40 weeks.

-         Allowing for quicker and simplified processing of asylum applications for a more significant number of arrivals to facilitate their easier repatriation.

-         Swift activation of solidarity mechanisms among member states in caring for refugees, primarily through resettling asylum seekers or providing financial assistance to host countries.

Thus, the agreement aims to coordinate joint efforts among EU countries when large numbers of migrants flow into one of the countries, as happened during the refugee crisis in 2015-2016. 
The approval of the agreement's text during the bloc's meeting on Friday remains to be seen, and more importantly, whether it will be effectively implemented to actively curb irregular migration to Europe and alleviate the burden on countries like France and Italy. 

For instance, the Italian island of Lampedusa is hosting an overwhelming number of migrants, and its mayor remarked, "We are all physically and mentally exhausted; the situation is out of control and unbearable."

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