EU leaders reach agreement on migration

EU leaders reach agreement on migration

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After an exhausting session, the EU member countries finally agreed that the construction of new reception centers is voluntary.

    
Belgian EU-Gipfel in Brüssel (Reuters / S. Lecocq)

After more than 12 hours of work, the leaders of the European Union gathered in Brussels reached, early this Friday (29.06.2018) an agreement on the issue of immigration, confirmed by Twitter the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk The problem, one of the sensitive issues within the EU, threatened to become a breaking point in the union of the 28.

The Chancellor of Austria, the right-wing Sebastian Kurz, explained that among the points agreed is that both Italy and Greece can build centers for immigrants in their territories if they so wish. The installation of new enclosures to receive migrants will then be voluntary. From these places the immigrants will be distributed to the countries that wish to receive them. The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, added that more funds were also approved to address the problem.

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, stressed that the principle of solidarity with those countries that receive the wave of immigration was imposed, while the Polish premier, Mateusz Morawiecki, said the agreement includes clauses on voluntary housing for immigrants, in addition to a consensus on the need to reform the asylum system.

Italian pressure

In this way, the long first day of the European summit, which ends the afternoon of this Friday, ends with an important success. The issue of immigration was not only putting pressure on the EU, but it is a major issue for the federal government of Germany, whose chancellor, Angela Merkel, is being questioned by its own allies for defending a policy of open arms for immigrants . Merkel appreciated the advances, but stressed that many differences “persist.”

Initially, the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, had refused to sign any agreement of the summit if his position on the immigration issue was not taken into account. After knowing the agreement, he said that his country would study later what position it will take before the issue. In addition to this issue, in the first working session the advances in security and defense policies, the situation of global trade after the imposition of tariffs by the United States, the multiannual financial framework for the period 2021-2027 and the demolition of the MH17 aircraft in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

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