EU to hold extraordinary general meeting on migrant crisis

EU to hold extraordinary general meeting on migrant crisis

European Union ministers have been called to an extraordinary EU meeting to discuss a huge surge in irregular immigration.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has again urged other European Union countries to accept a greater share of the refugees.

EU Parliament's Vice-President, Mairead McGuiness, says a sustainable solution must be found at European level to stop the migrant crisis escalating further.

The Midlands North-West MEP is calling for a collective effort.

She said: "Europe's development policy is crucial, we spend a lot of money in developing countries, I think we need to target that better.

"We need to look at countries that are failed states and see can we work with other global players like the UN, the US and the Arab countries themselves to try and bring some stability to these places and then some hope to them as well."

It comes after Germany, France and England released a joint statement calling for an urgent meeting of interior ministers to discuss proposals about how to react to the surge of migrants and refugees reaching European borders.

The statement said: ``The Luxembourg presidency of the Council of the European Union convenes an extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on 14 September in Brussels.

“The situation of migration phenomena outside and inside the European Union has recently taken unprecedented proportions.

“In order to assess the situation on the ground, the political actions under way and to discuss the next steps in order to strengthen the European response, the Luxembourg minister for immigration and asylum Jean Asselborn decided to convene an extraordinary JHA Council.”

Reception centres to register and fingerprint new arrivals at common arrival points and an agreed list of ``safe'' countries in a bid to speed up asylum decisions are among the steps that were suggested in the joint call.

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May discussed the situation with France’s Bernard Cazeneuve and Germany’s Thomas de Maiziere in Paris, when they were part of a summit discussing rail security measures in the wake of the gun attack on a French train.

“They agreed that immediate action has to be taken to face the challenge in managing the migratory flows,” the joint statement said.

“In particular they emphasised the need to establish the so called ’hot spots’ to register and fingerprint the migrants and to identify those in clear need of international protection in Greece and Italy as soon as possible and at the latest by the end of the year.

“In addition a list of safe countries of origin should be set up as soon possible in order to further develop the Common European Asylum System to provide protection for refugees and also to ensure effective returns for illegal migrants.”

The statement ended by urging the EU presidency of Luxembourg to call urgent talks.

Greece, Italy and other border countries are struggling to cope with record numbers of new arrivals, many seeking refuge from the conflict in Syria, with a surge over the summer taking the year’s total to beyond 340,000.

Mrs May said the EU’s “broken” system had exacerbated the issue – resulting in a string of high-profile tragedies such as the 71 suspected migrants found dead in the back of an abandoned truck in Austria and thousands more drowned in the Mediterranean.

The tragic scenes should act as a “wake up call”, she wrote in The Times, to “the consequences of uncontrolled migration on wages, jobs and social cohesion of the destination nations; on the economies and societies of the rest; and on the lives and welfare of those who seek to come here”.

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