EU could pay member states to take refugees

In the search for a political answer to the migration crisis, EU member states could be offered €6,000 for hosting migrants in secure centres in the future. Currently, tens of thousands of people are crossing the Mediterranean, and there’s being growing pressure on Southern European countries like Italy and Greece. The EU says that the “controlled centres” would aim to provide “orderly and effective processing” of asylum claims for asylum seekers arriving on rescue boats.

It’s hoped that this could answer the concerns of the far-right interior minister in Italy, Matteo Salvini, who recently refused to allow rescue boats to dock in Italian ports. The boat was eventually given permission to dock after Malta and seven other European countries agreed to take a share of the people on board. The Italian government said it will relax its laws and allow boats to dock for the next five weeks while the EU works towards introducing new asylum policies.

The idea of secure centres for processing asylum claims was agreed at last months summit. However, several countries including France, Germany, Italy and Austria indicated that they wouldn’t create any centres. At the summit, the EU also detailed plans to provide “full operational support”, which would mean additional teams of border guards and asylum officers, as well and translators. The commission estimates that for a boatload of 500 people, there would be 150 staff from the European Border and Coastguard Agency and 145 from the European Asylum Support Office.

As part of the €6,000 payment per person, individual member states providing centres would be expected to hire doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. The EU says it hopes to involve the UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration with the set up of these centres. This would mean that the idea of closed detention camps would be ruled out. It was added that “financial and logistical support” would be provided to these countries; although, no further details of what this would entail were included.


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