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UPDATED: EU proposes to pay €6,000 for each disembarked migrant

European Commission will cover financial costs of Member States who volunteer to cover infrastructural and operational costs of centres

migration
Photo: Human Rights Watch

Brussels will offer EU governments €6,000 for every migrant they take in from boats stranded in the Mediterranean through a new set of proposals to help improve the processing of migrants on their arrival.

Following the EU migration council in June, the European Commission is today expanding on the concept of controlled centers and short-term measures.

It also gave the first outline of regional disembarkation arrangements with third countries, which should be seen as working with the development of controlled centers in the EU.

“Now more than ever we need common, European solutions on migration. We are ready to support Member States and third countries in better cooperating 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,” EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said.

The aim of the centers is to improve the process of distinguishing between migrants in need of international protection and those with no grounds to stay in the EU, while speeding up returns. The centers would be managed by the host Member State with full support from the EU and EU Agencies and could have a temporary or ad-hoc nature depending on the location.

Disembarkation teams made up of European border guards, asylum experts, screeners and return officers will offer full operational support to the centers and the cost will be covered by the EU. Processing will be fast and effective to reduce the risk of secondary movements.

The EU will also full financial support to Member States who volunteer to cover the infrastructure and operational costs.

A pilot phase applying a flexible approach could be launched as soon as possible, the commission said.

The regional disembarkation arrangements aim to reduce deaths at sea and, together with NGOs, will provide protection to those who need it through resettlement schemes or reintegrated and returned to their country of origin.

These will also provide a set of established procedures and rules to ensure safe and orderly disembarkation and  processing in line withinternational law and human rights;

Ambassadors meetings on Wednesday are expected to discuss the concept of controlled centers in the EU and the possibility of rapidly using an interim framework for disembarkations of those rescued at sea in the EU.

The Financial Times reported that Brussels is hoping to persuade Rome’s government to do more to prevent failed asylum seekers who enter Italy from travelling on to other EU member states.

Spain is likely to be the biggest beneficiary, having taken in more than 1,200 rescued migrants from stranded boats in the Mediterranean in the past week alone. France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Malta have also received smaller numbers from rescues in recent weeks, the report said.

Instead of having asylum centres in the EU, rightwing European governments led by Salvini, Italy’s interior minister, want to fortify the bloc’s borders to prevent migrants from entering Europe.

Salvini, who has the backing of Austria and of Germany’s Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, is pushing plans to create “disembarkation platforms” outside Europe to process claims for migrants rescued at sea, most likely in north Africa, FT said.

In a migration summit last month, European Union leaders failed to agree on a common position on migration and other issues being discussed at a summit in Brussels

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