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EU Migration draft nicely tailored to ease German concerns

Provisional draft ‘conclusions’ of the mini-summit on Migration on Sunday have angered several leaders of European Union member states. Italy is threatening to abstain from the summit, the Visegrad Group has called for an emergency session.

The draft distributed to state leaders ahead of the summit is focusing on protection of Schengen external borders, implementing returns and readmission and preventing “secondary” movements within the EU. But also the establishment of “migrant cities” in several African countries.

Preventing secondary movements could lead thousands of migrants back to Italy and Greece.

“Unilateral, uncoordinated measures” on migration, like the ones proposed by Merkel’s sister party, the Bavarian CSU, will not be tolerated.

According to Draft Factbox published by reuters, the ten EU member states to participate in the mini-summit:

  1. * To reduce arrivals, they will agree to spend more on tightening the bloc’s external borders, including by committing more resources and equipment to their joint border and coast guard with the aim of building a 10,000-strong force by 2020.
  2. * To that same end, they will work more with countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia to “further reduce arrivals to the European Union.”
  3. * They will back prolonging a joint sea operation in the Mediterranean, training the Libyan coast guard and getting tougher on visas for countries that make problems taking back their citizens who fail to win asylum in Europe.
  4. * They will offer more support, financial and otherwise, to frontline countries like Italy and Greece.
  5. * They will back organizing “more protection and reception capacity outside the EU” for refugees and migrants.
  6. * To combat “secondary movement” of asylum seekers to other EU states once they have applied in one country, they will agree to step up controls at bus and train stations, as well as airports inside the EU.
  7. * They will aim to offer social and welfare benefits only to asylum seekers who stay in the EU country that is managing their case. They will want to impose punishment for those who move elsewhere.
  8. * They will agree to seal bilateral agreements on “readmissions and transfers” and set up new procedures to make it easier to send asylum seekers who cross EU borders back to the states where they applied.

The mini-summit has expanded after pressure by EU Council President, Donald Tusk. The countries to  participate Germany,France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Malta, Bulgaria, Belgium and the Netherlands, although the Italian PM is threatening not to attend.

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which reject a program to share out asylum speakers across the EU, are not attending Sunday’s meeting.

So far, there has been no reaction from Greece. Athens is busy with the crucial decisions of the Eurogroup today and the future of the Greek debt.

The draft is, of course, tailored to ease German concerns. Afterall, it is Chancellor Angela Merkel who has called for the summit after she was put under pressure by government coalition partner CSU.

The full draft document is here.

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One comment

  1. Point 7 means that Dublin comes back in force via the back door – with Italy and Greece taking the brunt. And we all know that EU promises (financial assistance to frontline states!) are not worth the paper they are written on.