Published On: Thu, Oct 10th, 2019

EU risks plunging into fresh migrant crisis as leaders fail to agree new plan | World | News

The bloc’s interior ministers failed to agree on a blueprint for how more migrants rescued at sea could be distributed across the EU. Germany, France, Italy and Malta are pushing to establish a quota system for distribution of migrants brought back to Europe. But after technical talks on the proposals, they couldn’t convince other EU countries to sign up.

Only Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal agreed to support the “fast-track” plan, which would screen migrants, relocate asylum seekers and return people who do not qualify for asylum, all within four weeks.

Luxembourg’s Foreign minister Jean Asselborn said: “We were seven yesterday, seven this morning and seven this evening. So things haven’t changed much.

“Why us, and why no one else?”

France predicted there could be around 10 EU countries ready to do a deal.

Amelie de Montchalin, the country’s European affairs minister, said: “I think there are around 10 countries that are ready to play the game. Perhaps others.

“We are going to be able to say that when a boat arrives, we know who to call and that there are countries ready to send teams in.”

Ahead of the discussions, Germany’s Horst Seehofer warned of a repeat of the 2015 migrant crisis unless Brussels can agree a bloc-wide approach.

The German interior minister said: “If there is no common European asylum policy, there is a danger that uncontrolled immigration will once again take place throughout Europe.”

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The agreement has been been marred by ongoing clashes between Brussels and Ankara.

Last week France’s Emmanuel Macron highlighted the growing divided by accusing Turkey of using he migration threat as a “means of pressure” on the EU over Turkish foreign policy.

Mevlüt Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, missed the French President as a “crowing cockerel” who had “exceeded is boundaries by defaming Turkey”.

Placing himself at the centre of the EU’s migration policy, Mr Seehofer reached out to Turkey to prevent a further escalation in the row.

“Turkey is doing a great deal in welcoming refugees,” he said.

“It is also in our interests but it is clear that we cannot manage the future with the resources of the past.”

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