Migrant centres to be set up across Europe to ease the refugee crisis

2 Jul 18

European leaders have struck a deal on how to handle migration within the bloc after finishing marathon talks at an EU summit.

Closed migrant centres will be set up across the bloc to process asylum claims under the deal and will determine who are illegal migrants to be “returned” to their home countries. 

There are no details yet about how these centres will be funded nor which countries will host them.

The only detail of funding set out in the concluding document is a transfer of €500m to the EU Trust Fund for Africa, which helps address the causes of migration in Africa. The Council also called for member states to “contribute further” to the trust.

It also said it would boost financing for refugees in Turkey. 

Italy, which is the entry point for thousands of migrants, mainly from Africa, had threatened to veto the summit’s agenda if it did not receive help with handling the high number of refugees coming in.

But French president Emmanuel Macron said following the talks early on Friday morning last week in Brussels that the centres would be set up in the countries where migrants first arrive in the EU.

“We have struck the right balance between responsibility and solidarity,” he said.

The number of migrants illegally entering the bloc dropped 96% since the peak in 2015, the European Council said in a statement.

The controlled centres, as well as relocation and resettlement of migrants, will be on a voluntary basis, the Council said.

Additionally, the leaders of the 28 member states (including the UK) also agreed to strengthen external border controls and impose internal measures by member states to stop migrants moving within the bloc.  

Unicef said ahead of the summit that protecting refugee and migrant children should be a priority of the bloc. 

The British Red Cross told PF International that they could not comment on the deal as of yet, because there was still a lack of detail. 

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