EU ministers support a new migrant plan after dispute between France and Italy
EU ministers support a new migrant plan after dispute between France and Italy

BRUSSELS: After a heated debate between Italy and France over refugee rescue boats, European interior ministers on Friday welcomed an EU plan to better coordinate handling of migrant arrivals.

By taking away the NGO ship earlier this month, France claims Italy violated the law of the sea. The allegation sparked crisis talks in Brussels to prevent a renewed EU spat on the politically sensitive matter.

However, Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusson, whose nation currently holds the EU presidency, later said that all participants agreed that "more can and should be done" to find a long-term solution. , despite the fact that all parties described the meeting as productive.

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Ministers will reconvene at a previously scheduled meeting on 8 December to continue "difficult discussions".
European Commission Vice President and Commissioner in charge of "promoting our European way of life" Margaritis Scinhas declared that Europe could no longer accept just another Band-Aid fix.

He emphasized that we cannot continue to operate on an incident-by-incident, ship-by-ship, incident-by-incident, and route-by-route basis because "populist and europhobe forces" have led to earlier crises. Took advantage of.

Although the number of asylum seekers is still significantly lower than in 2015 and 2016, the dispute has already jeopardized a tentative agreement to redistribute arrivals among the 27-nation bloc.

The ugly dispute has brought the issue to the forefront in Brussels, which has been working for years to come to an agreement and implement a new policy to share responsibility for migrants and asylum seekers.

A Norwegian-flagged NGO ship carrying 234 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean was refused permission to dock earlier this month by Italy's new government led by far-right leader Georgia Meloni.

The Ocean Viking eventually made it to France, where authorities suspended an earlier agreement to accept 3,500 asylum seekers stranded in Italy in response to Rome's stand.

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Paris called an extraordinary meeting of 27 interior ministers on Friday as a result of the dispute, which undermined the EU's temporary solution.

Sinchas acknowledged that the Ocean Viking crisis had been somewhat improved, defending his commission's new strategy for better coordination of rescue operations and migrant and refugee arrivals.

We have 20 specific actions, a significant political agreement, and everyone committed to working to prevent this type of situation from happening again.

If Rome "does not take the boats, does not accept the law of the sea," as French Interior Minister Gerald Dermanin said, "there is no reason for France to accept migrants transferred from Italy."

Matteo Piantedosi, Darmanin's Italian counterpart, downplayed the Ocean Viking incident by claiming that the meeting was "not related to personal matters or operational management."

He claimed to have shaken hands with the French minister and said that there had been a "convergence of positions", which helped the ministers to hold their talks when they met on 8 December.

The Belgian counterpart, Nicole de Moor, urged "solidarity", claiming that the overflowing migrant reception facilities in her country were due to Belgium accepting more migrants than its fair share.

The previous strategy was developed in response to complaints from Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece, which are close to North African coasts, that they were taking on too much responsibility for migrants.

Twelve EU countries agreed to transfer 8,000 asylum seekers, with Germany and France each accepting 3,500, but only 117 transfers have actually taken place.

To more effectively manage arrivals on the central Mediterranean route, the European Commission unveiled a new action plan on Monday.

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Aid organizations did not like this. Oxfam's Stephanie Pope, a migration expert, described Brussels' proposal as "another rehash of old ideas that don't work".

A European diplomat said, "There is nothing new in the plan, so it is not going to solve the issue of migration."
Nevertheless, ministers approved it, and Scinhas claimed it should avert further crises as Europe once again attempts to negotiate a world migration plan that will be enforced by EU law.

The plan calls for closer cooperation between Brussels and Tunisia, Libya and Egypt to prevent undocumented immigrants from boarding smugglers' ships.

Other EU capitals are more concerned about land routes through the Balkans while France and Italy argue about high-profile cases of dramatic sea rescues in the central Mediterranean.

The EU border force Frontex estimates that since the year's beginning, almost 130,000 unauthorised immigrants have entered the union, an increase of 160 percent.

Meanwhile, the Greek Interior Minister Notis Mitarachi expressed dissatisfaction that Turkey is not upholding a 2016 migration agreement that calls for returning migrants who are ineligible for asylum.

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