Refugees_on_a_boat_crossing_the_Mediterranean_sea,_heading_from_Turkish_coast_to_the_northeastern_Greek_island_of_Lesbos,_29_January_2016
Image: © Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe via Wikimedia Commons

EU politicians reach an agreement on migration

Only took a nine hour dinner and some slightly odd sounding conversations to get there

An EU summit on migration turned into a nine-hour dinner involving odd CV comparisons, lots of clashing viewpoints, and eventually, some kind of deal.

What it means: Of all the many, many meetings politicians have with each other, this was a big one for the EU.

Then number of migrants entering the EU illegally has dropped 96% since 2015, Still, anti-immigrant parties are on the rise across the continent - including in Italy, whose new president came to the summit with the aim of getting other EU countries to share more responsibility for migrants arriving on Italian shores. It’s not our fault we happen to be on the coast, he says - “Italy’s coast is Europe’s coast”.

Nine hours in, after arguments which included various prime ministers showing off about what they used to do before they got into politics as a way of proving what good decision-makers they are, they agreed on a few things: the EU will strengthen its external borders, set up processing centres to establish which migrants are genuinely fleeing war or persecution and which aren’t, and provide finances for North African countries to set up centres there too.

The thing is, all of that except for the external border thing is voluntary - EU countries don’t have to be involved if they don’t want to - so who’s actually gonna step up is the next big question.

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Reader Comments

  • ClawV23

    So they’re more or less becoming homeless on purpose and taking advantage of people’s kindness? That’s very disappointing, I’ve always imagined myself walking on the path of the monk but my idea of a modern monk was to achieve a level of independence at which I can grow my own food on a piece of land I own, make my own hemp clothes and live in a small log cabin somewhere outside civilization instead of begging people for a bowl of food.