Contentious Talks: Prepping for 2018 EU Migration Reforms

Written by | Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

EU leaders are getting ready for difficult talks on migration starting in January when heads of states debate new measures to curb illegal migration. The EU Commission and European Council seek to safeguard the situation by making sure that there would be no divide among member states. Disagreements about the issue are still persistent with EU leaders having made clear at the recent EU summit that migration would be on the agenda at the next three European Council meetings.

At the February summit, leaders will discuss proposals to create a new financial instrument meant to decrease the number of migrants who arrive in Europe illegally. They will specifically talk about the reform of the Dublin system and whether to keep mandatory quotas for relocating refugees from Italy and Greece throughout the bloc. European Council President Donald Tusk confirmed that the leaders should discuss how to create a new dedicated financial instrument that would be “a key priority in the multiannual financial framework”. He described their responses to his proposal as “univocally positive”. The Commission is readying to release its proposals for the post-2020 multi-year EU budget next spring.

However, President Tusk was honest in saying that a compromise can be a very challenging given the internal divisions on the issue of migration between the 28 heads of state, with the mandatory quotas being the most problematic part. Several leaders said their discussions over the quotas were contentious. Mr. Tusk wants heads of states to use a summit next June to make “the first decisions” on the reforms. Finding consensus “appears very hard but we have to try our very best,” he admitted.

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