Mediterranean Migration: Italy’s ‘Plan B’ to “Hurt” a Divided Europe

Written by | Thursday, June 18th, 2015
@Eubulletin

The EU Member States have failed to find a solution to the current system of the distribution of asylum seekers. Latvian Interior Minister, Rihards Kozlovskis, commented that there was “no common view” on how to distribute asylum seekers more equally throughout the block and how to transfer about 60,000 migrants on a quota system. Struggle to finalize a deal will continue next week during the upcoming EU summit.

The opinions on the topic vary greatly among EU leaders. The European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, lobbied only for a mandatory mechanism – not a voluntary one – that would redistribute 40,000 migrants among the EU members. The remainder – 20,000 migrants – most of which are Syrian refugees, would be moved to the block via EU refugee camps under a voluntary program. Mr Avramopoulos said that the EU tried a voluntary scheme in the past but it did not work so it was about time that “solidarity did not come in pieces”. He added that “it’s time we looked beyond national interests and avoided the lowest common denominator, the bargaining and finger-pointing.”

Before the meeting, Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, warned his European counterparts that without an agreement, his government would go for a “Plan B” that would “hurt” Europe. However, most EU members said that refugees should not be forced to move to the countries in which they do not want to settle down. In contrast, Austria and Germany supported the quota system that would redistribute migrants throughout the block. Interestingly, alongside the talks on the quota system, the EU is also pondering a way to send as many illegal migrants back home as possible. Commissioner Avramopoulos explained that two years ago the migrant return rate was only 33 percent.

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SECURITY & DEFENSE

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