The claims of Italy and some fringes in the architecture of asylum management make it difficult to close the migration pact that the European Union has been trying to agree on for years. Italy, on the front line of the border for irregular arrivals, has put on the table the concern of the southern countries, which demand more in that balance between solidarity and responsibility that the European agreement pursues. Italy asks, for example, that the period in which a country is obliged to take care of the asylum seeker it has received at its borders be reduced to 12 months (now there are 24); Northern countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands or Sweden, which mainly receive secondary movements from other EU countries, want this margin to be three years. Italy’s demands also contemplate other elements of this “mandatory but flexible solidarity”.
The interior ministers of the Member States are negotiating this Thursday in Luxembourg two of the last chapters of the migration pact – those of migration management – frozen for years. The proposal for the new European regulation that has been drawn up by the Council of the EU, coordinated by Sweden (which is chairing this semester), contemplates payments for Member States that receive asylum seekers relocated from other EU partners (the figures are in discussion). It also proposes other payments to cover transfers from one Union country (of reception) to another (of relocation) and more funds to support family reunification of families with minors, according to a draft of the proposal to which it has had access THE COUNTRY.
The new regulation is based on the concept of “compulsory but flexible solidarity” and proposes imposing a contribution of between 10,000 and 22,000 euros per rejected immigrant on partners who refuse to accept asylum seekers who correspond to them in the common distribution. as this newspaper announced this Wednesday. It is a wide fork and the final amount, which will go to the solidarity basket, is still open. Community sources point out that this figure will be 20,000 euros.
The Twenty-seven are now debating the pattern of those times of responsibility that worry Italy, where, with the far-right government, the issue is particularly sensitive. Other Mediterranean countries also want this period of responsibility for the applications of asylum seekers to be shorter if they have reached their borders in search and rescue operations. Rescuing those who are in danger at sea is an international obligation, say community sources.
The objective is to carry out two of the three pending regulations in the next few days and by a qualified majority (not unanimously). Hungary and Poland are opposed to everything, but in order to move forward with the pact, Italy needs to join in, not only because of the vote, but also because, even if that qualified majority were to be met, the agreement would not work if the five Mediterranean countries —among them Italy, Greece or Spain—reject it. The negotiation is still very open to the table of the Interior ministers and the positions are still very tilted, not only between the countries of the north and those of the south (Italy is not convinced either by the formula used to determine how many applicants for asylum to accept throughout the EU and by country), but on other fronts.
One of the most important is what criteria will be followed to return people who have been denied asylum by the authorities (the procedure will also be faster). Germany, for example, wants only repatriation to their country of origin to be contemplated. Others, such as the Netherlands or Italy, propose that they can be returned to the countries from which they crossed if those are considered “safe countries”.
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