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EU text on migration 'positive' but divisions remain - Merkel

02 Juillet 2018

Still, details of the plans are sketchy.

This will likely include regions like Sicily and remote Italian islands such as Lampedusa that have been frontline destinations for many migrant entries into Europe.

Gerhard Stahl, a visiting professor at the College of Europe, told Xinhua that the error of the EU's first reaction to the influx of migrants from Africa is to assume that this is a short-term problem and needs mainly a humanitarian answer.

Conte further said that some European Union states had informally offered to open these centres on their soil, but underlined that Italy was not among them. That's the European Union trying to balance its tough internal approach with a friendly external one, and offering incentives to North African countries to host facilities where migrants can be assessed for resettlement in Europe.

The number of migrants using the sea route from Morocco to Spain more than tripled between 2016 and 1017.

"It is far too early to talk about a success", Tusk said at the end of the two-day summit. Malta said that Norway had now also agreed to take a share.

"I think that everything that could be achieved in this timeframe has been done", she said. But trust me: "If we don't agree on them, then you will see some really tough proposals from some really tough guys".

He met European counterparts including the strongly anti-immigration Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and acknowledged not all member states needed the newcomers.

The issue has assumed greater political significance in Europe because of the threat to Mrs Merkel's position over her approach to letting migrants settle in her country. That's around half as many as in 2017.

Highlighting common foreign policy positions such as the reaction to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury and stance on the Iran nuclear agreement, Mrs Merkel added: "And we need each other as security partners for the protection of external borders and also for many missions in Africa.

We are satisfied", Conte told reporters after an all-night summit in Brussels during which he had vetoed a joint statement until he won concessions from the other 27 leaders, reports AFP.

During the campaign, the CSU has lurched to the right and cranked up its tough talk against migrants, intensifying the pressure on Merkel to harden her stance on an issue that has come to define her politically both at home and overseas.

The "Free State" with its beer-and-lederhosen Alpine traditions, powerful industries and impenetrable dialect has a more conservative bent than Germany's other regions.

They come as Merkel faces a threat by her hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer that unless she reaches European Union deals allowing the return of many asylum seekers, he will shutter German borders to them by early July.

The partner in Merkel's coalition government is demanding that migrants be turned away at Germany's border with Austria. The existing EU's Dublin Regulation allows for migrants to be sent back to the country where they first entered the bloc.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the conclusions were agreed in under 60 seconds - the only straightforward decision made during a hard summit for European unity.

The NGOs that operate in the Mediterranean in order to rescue migrants were furious at the deal.

The Maltese government said three babies and three adults were being treated at a hospital.

EU text on migration 'positive' but divisions remain - Merkel