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Dhaka Tribune

EU states seal migration deal

  • Italy and Germany resolve NGO dispute, leading to migration policy announcement
  • EU aims for cohesive action in the event of a surge in asylum-seekers
Update : 04 Oct 2023, 09:54 PM

Ambassadors from the EU's 27 states on Wednesday reached an agreement on reforms to migration policy, the bloc's presidency said.

"EU ambassadors have reached an agreement on the regulation addressing situations of crisis and force majeure in the field of migration and asylum," the European Council's rotating presidency, which is currently held by Spain, said on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

What do we know about the migration reform package?

The agreement will form the basis of further negotiations between member states and the European Parliament. The measures are likely to be voted on next year.

The envoys held talks in Brussels after Italy and Germany appeared to have resolved a disagreement over charities rescuing migrants stranded in the Mediterranean.

EU countries sought to revise their policy in order to ensure that the bloc would act cohesively in the event of a large inflow of asylum seekers.

National leaders are due to meet in the southern Spanish city of Granada on Thursday and Friday to discuss irregular migration.

The agreement seeks to relieve pressure on countries receiving considerable influxes of migrants, such as Italy and Greece, by relocating arrivals to other EU states.

If implemented, the deal would require countries that refuse to host asylum-seekers would have to pay those that do take them in.

Reactions

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised the agreement reached, calling it a "gamechanger."

"United we can deliver on the Pact before the end of this mandate," she said.

"I'm very happy that member states have now agreed on the crisis regulation, which is an important piece of the puzzle in the migration and asylum pact," Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard said.

"Now we can move on with the negotiations between the Council, the Commission, and the European Parliament," she said. "It is important to get the pact in place, to ensure order at the EU's external borders and reduce flows."

"Today we have achieved a huge step forward on a critical issue for the future of the EU," Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said. "With today's agreement, we are now in a better position to reach an agreement on the entire asylum and migration pact with the European Parliament by the end of this semester."

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