EU to move towards deciding asylum seekers' fate outside its borders - draft

by Reuters
Tuesday, 19 June 2018 10:38 GMT

Migrants, part of a group intercepted aboard three dinghies off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea, stand on a rescue boat upon arrival at the port of Malaga, Spain June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

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"Such platforms should provide for rapid processing to distinguish between economic migrants and those in need of international protection"

BRUSSELS, June 19 (Reuters) - The European Union will agree next week to look into setting up "regional disembarkation platforms" to decide on asylum requests before the claimants actually get to Europe, a draft statement of the leaders' summit next week showed.

Such centres could be set up in regions such as Northern Africa, said officials who discussed the document, which is not public but was seen by Reuters before the June 28-29 EU summit.

"Such platforms should provide for rapid processing to distinguish between economic migrants and those in need of international protection, and reduce the incentive to embark on perilous journeys," the draft joint statement of all 28 EU leaders said, though its wording may still change.

In a response to the ultimatum given to German Chancellor Angela Merkel by her coalition partner to find an EU deal on handling refugees and migrants who make it to the bloc or else see Berlin introduce a unilateral ban on refugees already registered in other EU states, the text also said:

"...secondary movements of asylum seekers between Member States put the integrity of the Asylum System severely at risk. Member States should take all necessary internal legislative and administrative measures to counter such movements and to closely cooperate amongst each other to this end."

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska)

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