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29 Jun 2018

Schengen Zone no longer at risk after EU leaders reach migration deal

EU leaders reach migration dealThe leaders of the European Union Member States have finally reached a deal on illegal immigration after 12 hours of talks in Brussels. The agreement reached between EU leaders foresees the establishment of reception centers for migrants and asylum seekers in the territory of their home countries, where will be carried the screening of migrants for their eligibility for asylum or refugee status.

In this meeting, the leaders also agreed to pay another 3 billion to Turkey as part of the second installment of the 2016 compensation deal for Ankara’s efforts to keep migrants away from Europe.

The French President Emmanuel Macron highly assessed the deal saying that cooperation has won the day.

“Europe will have to live with migratory pressures for a long time. We must succeed to standing up to this challenge whilst being true to our values,” he said after the meeting ended.

On the other hand, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed her optimism that Europe has sent a good signal by reaching this deal, adding that there is still a lot of work to do to bridge the different views.

The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz expressed his content with the deal saying that “We have long been calling for the protection of these areas, safe zones, landing centers, however one wants to call them, outside of Europe – this idea now has prevailed.”

Whereas, the newly elected Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte who days ago threatened that the migration crisis could end the Schengen Agreement, said after the meeting that Italy is no longer alone in the fight against irregular migration.

Italian PM: Schengen is at risk

During a meeting of the EU leaders called by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel a week ago, the newly elected Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned the leaders of the European Union that the Schengen agreement of border-free travel zone is in danger because of the migration issue. PM Conte said at the meeting in Brussels that the EU Member States have a shared responsibility for the migrants that arrive in EU, and Italy does not have to carry the burden on its own.

“Whoever lands in Italy, lands in Europe… Schengen is at risk, – he said to the EU leaders.

Such statement comes just after Italy refused to take in two rescue ships with migrants fleeing their countries, one of which traveled to Spain, and the other ship has been stranded for a week in the sea since not only Italy, but Malta as well refused to open their door to them. The ship has finally landed in Malta yesterday, on June 28.

Italy formed its new populist coalition government earlier this month and has already taken a hard line on migration, threatening to deport half million undocumented migrants that remain inside its borders.

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