Getting Latest Election Result...
EU countries agree stricter reforms on asylum and migration
Sweden, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said the deal is a "good balance" of responsibility toward those seeking asylum and solidarity in the EU
The European Union's 27 member states have agreed on a plan to enact tougher asylum and migration policies across the bloc, officials announced on Thursday.
Sweden, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said the deal is a "good balance" of responsibility towards those seeking asylum and solidarity in the EU.
Proposal was 'difficult' for Germany
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser had said on Thursday that a new reform proposal on EU migration policy was "very difficult for us in Germany" to accept, as it did not include exceptions for families with children.
She made the comments as EU interior ministers gathered in Luxembourg in a bid to reach a deal on joint migration and asylum policy.
One of the contested reforms was the introduction of preliminary checks on asylum seekers, who would then be sent back immediately if deemed that they did not have a chance to be granted asylum. Berlin wants to secure exemptions for minors and families with children.
"It is important that we come to an agreement," Germany's Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said after she arrived to the talks. "We can only handle migration together as the whole EU."
"I feel there is a common understanding which could lead to an agreement, but not at any price," she said.
Faeser said that Germany wanted to include enhanced rights for children in an EU migration deal.
"On one point we still have a real problem from the German point of view, because we want the protection of children and families with children in border procedures," she said, adding that such protections would be in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Faeser insisted that "human rights standards" were a top priority for Berlin in elaborating migration policy. She said that there was a chance EU member states could reach an agreement, but that this could not be done "at any price."
She said that the current reform compromise is "very difficult for us in Germany," but did not clarify whether Berlin would support the proposal.
Migration reforms must be solved 'together'
While the EU interior ministers meeting got underway in Luxembourg, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also held talks on migration reforms in Rome with Italy's Meloni.
"Those who want to overcome the challenges associated with refugee migration can only do so together in the European Union," Scholz said.
"All attempts to either leave the problems with someone else or to point the finger at others will fail," he added.
Italy's prime minister said that she was "convinced" that the bloc would seen reach an agreement on migration policy.
She said that the situation becomes "difficult" when the responsibility for dealing with is shifted onto other partners.
Meloni said that she would travel to Tunisia long with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Many migrant boats that attempt to traverse the Mediterranean in order to reach EU soil embark from the North African country.
Scholz reiterated Berlin's offer to take in migrants that had entered other countries on the EU's border.