The news coverage has been increasingly distressing for the past months regarding the worsening situation of migrants travelling the Mediterranean Sea in smuggling boats. As a result, the EU has called on the European leaders for an urgent meeting.
Currently held by Luxembourg, the leadership of the Council of the European Union has announced that a meeting regarding “extraordinary justice and home affairs” must take place in two weeks in Brussels.
According to the EU statement – and the great majority of governments involved – the “migration crisis outside and inside the European Union has recently taken unprecedented proportions.”
Jean Asselborn, the Luxembourg Minister for Immigration and Asylum has, therefore, decided that an assessment of the situation and the political initiatives that need to take place will have to be discussed in an extraordinary JHA Council.
The announcement follows a statement from the UK Home Secretary Theresa May joined by her Paris and Berlin counterparts calling for an emergency meeting whose main focus will be the proper reaction to the waves of migrants and refugees that keep on landing on European borders.
Mrs May’s call presented a few of the suggestions she has for containing the situation, such as setting up registering centers for processing the migrants at common arrival points and agreeing on the “safe” countries of origins, hoping that asylum decisions will thus be sped up.
Also part of the Paris summit where May discussed the situation, France’s Bernard Cazeneuve and Germany’s Thomas de Maiziere agreed with Mrs May that the migratory flows are in dire need of immediate action from the EU and the governments involved.
According to the conclusions reached, speedy actions will take place by the end of the year, with emphasis on the need to establish fingerprint centers for identifying migrants, a necessary step in the way of providing international protection for people reaching the shores of Greece and Italy.
It’s difficult for many of the border countries to cope with the ever-growing number of migrants, many of whom are fleeing from conflict in Syria and looking for refuge. Latest reports show that the summer surge has taken this year’s total to over 340,000.
Mrs May also addressed the broken system of the EU and the UN that – she says – has aggravated the issue, leading to a long string of tragedies. This week only, 71 suspected migrants were found dead in the back of an abandoned truck in Austria; and there are thousands more who either drowned in the Mediterranean or died in dire conditions trying to pass over.
Image Source: The Guardian