The EU has recently introduced two concept papers that seek to create ‘centers’ in Europe and ‘platforms’ in Africa in an attempt to make it more difficult for migrants and refugees to take boasts to reach Spain and Italy. The UNHCR commented that that the EU was essentially trying to prevent people in need of international protection to ever reach Europe by denying them options to “resettle”.
That essentially means that “resettlement possibilities will not be available to all disembarked persons in need of international protection” at platforms set up in north African states and as such dissuade others from attempting the same journey, the UN’s refugee agency explained. Despite the plans, the overall costs are not clear and nor are the countries that will host them or what the centers will look like. The EU Commission, however, wants to pilot what it calls “controlled centers” – a term trying to avoid the notion of a “camp” – given the image they might have provoked due to the disastrous treatment of people stuck in hotspots on the Greek islands.
There are still ongoing reports of the continued abuse of asylum seekers in Greece, “stranded in inhumane conditions”. The Greek islands are home to a record high of 17,800 refugees. The first hotspots were launched in 2015 in Greece and Italy, but the centers could presumably be set up in any EU state on an ad-hoc and voluntary basis. The EU is trying to motivate member states to establish the centers by financing all costs linked to their building and construction. It also proposes to pay EU member states €6,000 per migrant saved from the boats.