Main points of European Union migration deal

Clay Curtis
July 1, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose "Open Door" refugee policy has arguably contributed to the current migrant influx into Europe, welcomed the outcome of the negotiations, noting, however, that there is a lot more work to be done to overcome EU-wide differences.

The idea echoes discussions elsewhere in the developed world, including in the United States, on how to outsource the contentious asylum process and cut down on the flow of arrivals.

An official statement said Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker instead would brief reporters at the end of the two-day summit because "one member reserved their position on the entire conclusions".

The centrepiece of the deal is an unspecified promise for more European Union countries to open "control centres" on a voluntary basis to process asylum claims.

The "controlled centers" will determine who will be returned and who qualifies for asylum.

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"Italy is no longer alone", Conte said after the deal was announced.

The leaders also agreed to increase funding for Turkey and North Africa and strengthen Europe's external borders.

European Union leaders clinched a crucial migration deal during all-night talks Friday that Italy's hardline new premier said meant his country was "no longer alone" in shouldering the responsibility for migrants.

The plan includes setting up screening centers in European countries that volunteer to establish such facilities, European Council President Donald Tusk said in a statement.

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After the recent incidents of ships with illegal migrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea, a solution had to be found to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Without a deal "we would no longer be able to share real-time alerts for wanted persons, including serious criminals" and "our collective ability to map terrorist networks across Europe and bring those responsible to justice would be reduced", she told her counterparts.

The meeting was attended by 16 member states but notably not by any of the Visegrad countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia), which object to any relocation of migrants. However, countries commit to take back refugees who are crossing their borders in present times, when their number is very low.

Merkel is now facing one of the most serious crises in her government since the 2015 refugee influx as herInterior Minister Horst Seehofer threatens to close Germany's borders over her protests. "It's better when you can do things with all 28 countries, but when states are stubborn you can move forward with just some of them", she said. For over a million migrants already in Europe, their ultimate destination was Germany - a country whose citizens are increasingly turning to anti-migrant parties like Alternative For Germany, putting pressure on Merkel.

In the latest reported capsizing in which about 100 people were missing, Libyan coast guard spokesman Ayoub Gassim said 16 were rescued from the water east of the capital, Tripoli, and the bodies of three children were recovered.

The Lifeline was only allowed to dock in Malta after intense diplomacy among several European Union states, who each agreed to take some of the migrants on board.

"There will be no forced redistribution of refugees", Morawiecki said on Twitter.

Sweden's prime minister, Stefan Löfven, added that he used to be a welder and he did not agree with the Italian's way of making his point, either.

Asked about how youngsters would be treated under the terms of the deal, Sarah Crowe from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that the "detention issue" needed clarifying.

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