EU plans ‘controlled centres’ for Mediterranean migrants
2018-08-01 09:14:29 -
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By Chinedu Onyejelem

The European Commission is to create “controlled centres” for processing migrants rescued from the Mediterranean, according to EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.

“Now more than ever we need common, European solutions on migration,” Dimitris Avramopoulos said. “We are ready to support member states and third countries in better co-operating on disembarkation of those rescued at sea. But for this to work immediately on the ground, we need to be united – not just now, but also in the long run. We need to work towards sustainable solutions.”

The announcement follows a call by EU leaders at the June European Council, and will also see the setting up of ‘disembarkation hubs’ with third countries to share the responsibility of “complex migration challenges” faced by the union’s member states.

According to Avramopoulos, the new system would help to distinguish between migrants in need of international protection, with irregular migrants with no right to remain in the EU, as well as speed up the repatriation of those determined to have no right to remain in Europe. 

Host member states would manage these controlled centres with complete support from the EU and EU agencies, including financial support of up to €6,000 per person, he said — stressing that such centres could be temporary or ad-hoc, depending on where they exist. 

A pilot phase of the scheme is to be launched soon “in close cooperation with IOM and UNHCR and in partnership with third countries”, Avramopoulos confirmed.
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