EU Offers Member States Money to Admit Rescued Migrants

The European Union proposed Tuesday financial incentives to member countries to admit migrants from Mediterranean rescue boats as part of efforts to defuse a weeks-long showdown with Italy.

The proposals expand on those agreed at a fractious EU summit last month to respond to the decision by Italy’s new populist government to turn away such vessels.

The European Commission proposed offering volunteering EU countries funds to set up and run centres on their territory to determine whether people qualify for asylum in Europe or should be sent home as economic migrants.

The Commission, the 28-nation EU’s executive arm, also proposed giving any volunteer countries in the bloc 6,000 euros for every asylum seeker they admit from those “controlled centres.”

“We are ready to support member states and third countries in better cooperating on disembarkation of those rescued at sea,” EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said.

“But for this to work immediately on the ground, we need to be united – not just now, but also in the long run,” the former Greek politician said.

In addition to processing centres within the EU, the summit also agreed to consider setting up “disembarkation platforms” outside the bloc, most likely in north Africa, in a bid to discourage migrants from boarding EU-bound smuggler boats.

EU ambassadors were…

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