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EU leaders compromise on vague conclusions and “controlled migration centers”

After a long sleepless night and a session that lasted approximately 14 hours, the 28 European Union leaders managed to reach a compromise and agreed to adopt the conclusions on the hot potato that is called: Migration. The rift within the EU on the issue is bigger than ever before and the fronts harden practically leading a common EU Migration policy to the sand.

At 6 o’clock Friday morning, European Council President, Donald Tusk announced:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>EU28 leaders have agreed on <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/euco?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#euco</a> conclusions incl. migration.</p>&mdash; Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) <a href=”https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/1012524650017017856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The Summit confirmed that Europe remains divided in two fronts over the issue and adopting the conclusions with some changes in the wording after Italy’s threat to veto, is was just a hard-fought compromise to find solution to the deadlock, to avoid the total collapse and save face.

The EUCO conclusions foresee among others that EU countries, mainly Italy and Greece, will establish “controlled centers” on their soil to process migrants rescued at sea. However this is “only on a voluntary basis.”

They will explore possibilities to open migration centers outside the EU, in African countries which they will reward with 500 million euros.

Turkey will be granted the second tranche of EU aid for the 3.5 million refugees and migrants on its soil in order to keep them also there. The EU calls on Turkey to start implementing again the bilateral agreement with Greece over return of migrants.

The EU underlines the need to reform the Dublin Treaty.

All in all the conclusions on Migration remain vague and are based on nice words like “solidarity”, “shared responsibility” and “shared effort” wheres some members like Greece and Italy keep doing much more than other members like Hungary and the Visegrad group. “Voluntary basis” is, of course, an essential term because how can the EU enforce the countries that are burdened with the biggest migration flows, when it lets the anti-migration front prevail and reject its “shared responsibilities and efforts”?

In the torturing-long session, two fronts fought against each other: Germany, France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Malta against Italy, Austria and the Visegrad 4 that want internal border controls, a mini-Schengen so to say.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>&quot;Italy is no longer alone after this EU summit&quot; – a fresh faced Giuseppe Conte at 5am emerges from a 9-hour migration debate claiming victory <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/EUCO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#EUCO</a> <a href=”https://t.co/8qqWo1TC1v”>pic.twitter.com/8qqWo1TC1v</a></p>&mdash; Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) <a href=”https://twitter.com/MehreenKhn/status/1012535096979619840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Reporters covering the summit revealed nice details from the long long night.

“You don’t know how a European Council works!” said French President Emmanuel Macron to Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte when he threatened with veto.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>There we are, well past 4 in the morning, and 28 heads of government representing 500 million people, are still arguing over how to solve the `massive crisis&#39; caused by an immigration wave which – this year- equals to about 0.01% of the bloc&#39;s population. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/EUCO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#EUCO</a></p>&mdash; Nikos Chrysoloras (@nchrysoloras) <a href=”https://twitter.com/nchrysoloras/status/1012519660187734016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Juicy details from the #EUCO dinner.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>This is wonderful stuff from the Bulgarian and Swedish prime ministers. <a href=”https://t.co/jKA5Ncnrie”>pic.twitter.com/jKA5Ncnrie</a></p>&mdash; Duncan McDonnell (@duncanmcdonnell) <a href=”https://twitter.com/duncanmcdonnell/status/1012584444832538626?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
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As the night grew older, the esteemed leaders, like the Prime Minister of Denmark, could not hide a yawn here and a yawn there.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>We are all <a href=”https://twitter.com/larsloekke?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@larsloekke</a> <a href=”https://t.co/KuQyadQqNf”>pic.twitter.com/KuQyadQqNf</a></p>&mdash; Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) <a href=”https://twitter.com/MehreenKhn/status/1012531200131584001?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Chancellor Angela Merkel: tired but happy, although the EUCO meeting does not seem to have solved her coalition government problems.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”nl” dir=”ltr”>Merkel happy: <a href=”https://t.co/ZeeuRo1cRd”>pic.twitter.com/ZeeuRo1cRd</a></p>&mdash; Stefan Leifert (@StefanLeifert) <a href=”https://twitter.com/StefanLeifert/status/1012610912182849536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 29, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The EU 28 conclusions address also other issues, such as security and defense, jobs, growth and competitiveness, innovation and digital, and to keep sanctions on Russia. The full text is here in pdf.

PS so far there is no official EUCO Summit picture. The 28 leaders are still in pajamas…? Not, not realy. There is currently a meeting between Germany, Greece and Portugal on Migration.

 

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