Thursday May 30, 2024

EU reaches long-stalled deal on refugee hosting

June 09, 2023

LUXEMBOURG: EU nations on Thursday reached agreement on a long-stalled revision of the bloc´s rules to share the hosting of asylum seekers and migrants more equitably. Sweden, which holds the bloc´s rotating presidency, announced the breakthrough after a fraught day of negotiations between EU interior ministers in Luxembourg. The deal -- which needed approval from a majority of countries, representing at least 65 percent of the bloc´s population -- comes after years of wrangling over the divisive issues of asylum policy. “These are not easy decisions for everyone around the table, but they are historic decisions,” said German interior minister Nancy Faeser.

The proposal tabled at the meeting called for compulsory help between EU countries, but with an option of doing that in one of two ways. The priority is for EU countries to share the hosting of asylum-seekers, taking in many that arrive in nations on the bloc´s outer rim, mainly Greece and Italy.An initial text said nations that refuse would instead be required to pay a sum of 20,000 euros ($21,000) per person to the countries hosting them. A preliminary agreement of the EU´s 27 members opens the way for negotiations with the European Parliament on legislation that could be adopted before European elections in June next year.