EU in­te­rior min­is­ters meet as na­tions tus­sle over mi­grant re­sponse

Oman Daily Observer - - EUROPE -

INNS­BRUCK, Aus­tria: In­te­rior min­is­ters from 28 Euro­pean na­tions are hold­ing talks on Thurs­day as they face pres­sure to in­tro­duce new poli­cies to stem mi­grant ar­rivals, in their first meet­ing since Aus­tria took the EU helm with prom­ises of a tough re­sponse to the is­sue.

The meet­ing in the Aus­trian city of Inns­bruck will fo­cus on find­ing a com­mon mi­gra­tion plan, with Vi­enna ex­pected to push to change cur­rent EU pol­icy so it is no longer pos­si­ble to make asy­lum re­quests on Euro­pean soil.

Al­though the num­ber of mi­grants flee­ing war and poverty has fallen sharply since a 2015 peak, the thorny is­sue re­mains a key topic for the six-month pres­i­dency of Aus­tria, where a con­ser­va­tive-far right coali­tion took power last De­cem­ber.

Aus­tria’s far-right In­te­rior Min­is­ter Her­bert Kickl on Thurs­day re­peated his sug­ges­tion of cre­at­ing “re­turn cen­tres” out­side the EU for peo­ple re­fused asy­lum who can­not be im­me­di­ately repa­tri­ated to their coun­try of ori­gin.

How­ever, EU Mi­gra­tion Com­mis­sioner Dim­itris Avramopou­los voiced scep­ti­cism over the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of the idea.


Lithua­nia In­te­rior Min­is­ter Eimutis Mi­si­u­nas (L) and Ital­ian In­te­rior Min­is­ter and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini (C) take part in a round of dis­cus­sions dur­ing an in­for­mal meet­ing on Thurs­day in Inns­bruck, Aus­tria.

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