The European Council reached agreement on an approach to EU migration challenges following the Council meeting on 28 June, including shared responsibility between all EU Member States for migrants arriving in Italy and Greece and a more effective control of the EU’s external borders.
- For migrants arriving on EU territory, the EU28 leaders agreed that there should be “a shared effort” on “a voluntary basis” to distinguish between irregular migrants who would be returned and those entitled to apply for international protection. It is proposed that within the EU Member States would establish processing centres to assess asylum claims.
- The leaders agreed to increase efforts to stop smugglers operating from outside of the EU and in particular from Libya, in an attempt to dissuade migrants from boarding smuggler boats. The concept of “regional disembarkation platforms” was proposed as a new approach to dealing with smugglers and to prevent boats leaving North Africa. These platforms would be located outside of the EU and would require close cooperation with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM).
- Additional efforts are required to fully implement the EU-Turkey Statement to prevent new crossings from Turkey. More effort is needed to ensure returns and prevent the development of new sea or land routes.
- It was agreed to provide increased support and funding to prevent illegal migration from the Western Mediterranean route, in particular Morocco.
- It was also recognised that further cooperation between the European Union and African countries was needed to assist in establishing the “socio-economic transformation” of the African continent.
- Member States were called on to take necessary action to prevent secondary movements of asylum seekers between Member States in an attempt to maintain the integrity of the Common European Asylum System and the Schengen acquis.
- Further examination is required to reach a consensus on the reform of a new Common European Asylum System.
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