A migrant waits to disembark from a rescue ship in Lampedusa A migrant waits to disembark from a rescue ship in Lampedusa  

Italy and France want EU to redistribute migrants

France and Italy demand a new system to automatically redistribute migrants across the EU. The call comes amid tensions within the EU over migration as the number of people entering Europe surges. The French President and the Italian Prime Minister are angry that several EU member states refuse to accept those arriving on Europe's shores.

By Stefan J. Bos

Countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia have often criticized EU plans to redistribute asylum seekers across the 28 nation bloc.

But after talks in Rome, French President Macron said that the current system is particularly unfair on Italy.

Heard through an interpreter, Macron condemned several EU nations for refusing to accept survivors of often dangerous journeys. "The European Union has not shown enough solidarity with countries handling first arrivals, notably Italy,” Macron said. "France is ready to develop this in the framework of overhauling the Dublin accords,” under the auspices of the European Commission, he added.

Marcon referred to the EU regulation, which assigns responsibility for migrants to the nation of first entry.

But Italy says it can no longer cope with the number of arrivals. Italian Prime Minister Conte made clear that he and Macron want the new system to redistribute migrants across the EU automatically. "I have already received support from President Macton, who I thank publically for a European solution. Finally a European mechanism on landings and redistribution of migrants," the Italian leader said.

Many arrivals

He spoke while the number of people entering Europe surges.

In the latest move of desperate people, hundreds of migrants arrived in Italy and Greece this week, many traveling by boat from Libya and Turkey.

They are among thousands of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe every year.

Those who make the journey often travel in poorly maintained and overcrowded vessels and many have drowned.

Amid the misery, Turkey, which is hosting more than 3.6 million Syrians who have fled the country's civil war, had a warning to the EU this week.

Turkey said it would be "forced to open the gates" if it did not receive "logistical support" to establish a refugee "safe zone" in Syria.

Listen to the report by Stefan Bos


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19 September 2019, 17:11