European Union leaders defend migration deal as doubts emerge

European Union leaders defend migration deal as doubts emerge”

After the talks, she acknowledged the European Union still had "a lot of work to do to bridge the different views".

The EU summit also called on member countries to take "all necessary" steps to stop migrants initially arriving in countries such as Italy and Greece from moving on to Germany.

Further work which seeks to reform European Union asylum policy would also oversee changes to the "Dublin regulation", whereby migrants must be considered for asylum upon their arrival to the first safe country.

Migrant experts and humanitarian aid groups fear the European Union agreement is a political smoke screen aimed at addressing the concerns of resurgent anti-migrant parties in Europe and which will only leave vulnerable people once again at risk.

The IOM also tweeted that the situation was "not a migration crisis, rather a humanitarian one", with more than 16,000 migrants dead or missing at sea since 2014.

So far, though, no African country has signalled an interest in hosting such a center.

"Plans to confine people who do reach Europe's shores to "controlled" centres are alarming". But again, it was not clear which African countries might agree to house such platforms, or whether they would be compatible with worldwide law.

Migrants deemed eligible for worldwide protection would be distributed among member states that voluntarily offer to take them in.

Such a move could see a domino effect of re-introduction of internal borders and the collapse of the Schengen area.

Growing concern over migration comes at a time when Europe is already dealing with a lingering debt crisis, a rise in European populism, an escalating trade war with the United States, questions over Washington's commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and faltering negotiations for Brexit.

"Italy is not alone anymore", he said.

"It's simply about pushing migrants out of our sight so we don't have to look at the camps in Greece, or in Italy or on our borders in Calais", Asad Rehman, executive director of anti-poverty charity War on Want, told Sky News.

But a realization seems to be dawning on some European leaders that a collapse of the Schengen open borders system - a effect of the CSU's plan to turn back migrants at the German border - would kill off the internal market, which creates jobs, one EU diplomat said.

While the specific proposals will need to be fleshed out, agreement on the outline of a deal may also help to preserve the tenure of Germany's Angela Merkel, who has been facing a rebellion on migration by members of her governing coaltion that threatens her chancellorship.

"Europe faces many challenges", said Ms Merkel. It swerved instead to migration, which has become politically fraught with the rise of populist, anti-immigrant parties even as the number of migrants coming to Europe has fallen sharply. The ships were not allowed to disembark in the nearest ports in Italy and Malta because the two countries are not willing to become first entry points and obliged to process their asylum applications. He has threatened to start turning away migrants who have already registered elsewhere from the border in his home state.

Mr Varadkar has said reception centres for migrants should be run by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and warned there could be no equivocation over trafficking.

What are the views on migration amongst member states?

Ahead of the EU agreement, the United Nations agency maintained that a "well-managed and predictable European disembarkation mechanism could save children's lives", in addition to speeding up asylum procedures and improving access to legal aid.

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