Juncker plans Trump visit as European Union unites on tariffs

Hugh Fox
July 1, 2018

Conte, whose government includes the anti-establishment 5-Star movement and far-right League, had earlier refused to endorse a summit text on security and trade until other leaders had pledged to help Italy manage Mediterranean arrivals.

A joint statement asked to "swiftly explore" the concept of "regional disembarkation platforms" where migrants and refugees would be processed in third countries "to eliminate the incentive to embark on perilous journeys".

The political agreement issued today details new migration proposals which include plans for "controlled centres" for asylum seekers and migrants in European Union states, and "regional disembarkation platforms" to disembark those rescued at sea outside Europe.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is ready to sign a deal with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to make it easier for Germany to send asylum seekers back to other European countries, the Financial Times reported yesterday (27 June).

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.

Member nations could also set up migrant processing centers - but only on a voluntary basis - to determine whether the arrivals should be returned home as economic migrants or admitted as refugees in willing states.

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The government in Ankara was paid more than 3 billion euros in refugee aid to stop people leaving for the Greek islands.

Speaking in Geneva, UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley noted that the development comes at a time when more than 1,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe for the fifth year in a row.

Outside Europe, centers would be created to reduce the number of migrants who risk the sea voyage to the Continent and to disrupt the black economy of people-smuggling.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described migration as the bloc's most hard and important issue.

Meanwhile, over 500 women including a member of Congress were arrested on Thursday in the US Capitol complex protesting President Donald Trump's hardline immigration policy that has triggered thousands of family separations at the border with Mexico.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, who has sharply criticised Italy for refusing to allow a migrant rescue ship into its ports, said European cooperation had "won the day".

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The agreement provides that member states, with respect to global law, may receive refugees on a voluntary basis in centers established in their territory. Crowe said her organization also has questions about the "disembarkation centers" the European Union foresees in regions outside the bloc, such as Northern Africa. "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 Prime Minister is expected to meet key players in Europe in an effort to boost support for the White Paper, with Germany's Angela Merkel confirming she was expecting a visit from Mrs May. "We are satisfied. Today Italy is no longer alone".

IOM's spokesperson Leonard Doyle said that "the majority" of these "should be in Europe", although these could be "potentially elsewhere", the agency said in a statement.

"We took the view that we needed to have a degree of burden-sharing, on the transfer of migrants to countries, and Ireland has already agreed to accept some from that as well".

According to the BBC, Italy - which has borne numerous thousands of migrants in recent years - had threated to veto the summit if it did not get help.

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