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Europe working on refugee centres in North Africa

dec0a9db47a86a678b5fea49bfb4a7e9 - Europe working on refugee centres in North Africa

EU leaders to negotiate with countries from North Africa about the establishment of centres to economic migrants to separate refugees.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, wants the EU leaders next week at their summit in Brussels a new step in the fight against illegal migration from Africa. The handling of asylum applications in the countries of North Africa must offer a way out of the new migratiecrisis that arose after the incident with the Aquarius and the tensions within the German government.

Migrants in the territorial waters off the coast picked up, and the saved will go to ‘regional ontschepingsplatforms’. “Such platforms should allow for a faster handling to make a distinction between economic migrants and people in need of international protection. This will be the incentive to reduce the dangerous journey to catch’, in the draft conclusions of the summit, which is already circulating.

The economic refugees as soon as possible to their country of origin be reduced. Migrants who chance to recognition as a refugee, would be via a skybridge resettled in the EU.

Still to work out

The member states discuss the proposal Thursday for the first time. But the belief you win more and more European leaders that something needs to be done outside of Europe, if it is logistically and legally feasible. This can also be seen during the most recent contacts that prime minister, Charles Michel had with the German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Emmanuel Macron and Tusk.

Some EU leaders conduct all discussions with colleagues in North Africa. Or that countries agree with this concept, is still unclear. Thus, there is a real risk that the system has a knock-on effect it creates. Is it sustainable if the countries of origin do not cooperate, and thousands of migrants getting stuck in those centres? And there will be a dispersion of flights plan in the EU for who is recognised as a refugee?

A European diplomat stressed that the concept is further developed. Due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations, mentions the draft in which countries the centres would come. It is known that financial aid would receive in return for the use of their territory.

Anticipating criticism

In order to anticipate possible criticism, the diplomat insisted that the concept after the incident with the Aquarius defended by Vincent Cochetel, special envoy of UNHCR for the Mediterranean Sea. “The European countries on the Mediterranean Sea should take their responsibility, but also the countries of North Africa”, said Cochetel. He pointed out that this model was used in the seventies in South-East Asia in the crisis with the Vietnamese boat people.

Belgium is studying the proposal yet. But for N-VA-president Bart De Wever, it is clear that Belgium Tusk should support it. ‘What are those regional platforms other than pushbacks that are not so may be called? This is a total turnaround.’

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