EC to Consider EU Resettlement Programme in September (News)

“Addressing the first meeting of the newly-constituted Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament [in July], EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot said the Commission was finalising the workings of the first intra-EU resettlement programme and would present it to member states in September for approval.”

“…Malta and Italy are insisting that this pilot-project should be compulsory, in order to force member states to share the burden of the southern EU member states, Mr Barrot said this was not possible under the EU treaties and would therefore have to be on a voluntary basis.”

Barrot “underlined the importance of cooperation with third countries, notably Turkey and Libya. He said that he was urging these countries to embark on patrols to bring illegal departures to a halt, to set up systems for readmission of illegal immigrants and to establish reception centres for asylum seekers in their countries.”

“During the debate the issue of Italy’s new policy of turning back migrants to Libya and its newly adopted law on security measures in the area of immigration were harshly criticised by Socialist MEPs who claimed that Italy was violating its obligations and the rights of migrants through these measures.”

“In response Commissioner Barrot noted that the Commission was studying the compatibility of Italy’s security package with European law, whilst it was also carrying out a survey with Italian authorities on the exact facts surrounding those incidents where it turned migrants back to Libya. He said that the Commission was now waiting for Italy’s response.”

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Filed under European Union, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, News

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