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Reuters: EU takes step towards overhauling migration system

4-10-2023 |

European Union countries on Wednesday sealed a deal on how to handle irregular immigration at times of exceptionally high arrivals, taking a step towards overhauling the bloc's asylum and migration rules before a pan-European election next year.

Envoys of the bloc's 27 member states reached the agreement on Wednesday after overcoming the latest spat between Italy and Germany over charity ships picking people up in the sea as refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa try to cross the Mediterranean for Europe.

The 27 countries will now negotiate further with the European Parliament. They hope to have a functioning migration system in place ahead of a 2024 European Parliament election that takes place across the union of some 450 million people.

Under the agreement, countries such as Italy that receive many Mediterranean arrivals could speed up asylum procedures and ask for swift help from EU peers, including financial aid and relocations.

The EU has been seeking to reform its asylum system since more than a million people reached its shores in 2015, catching the bloc by surprise and overwhelming countries of first arrival such as Greece and Italy.

The tentative agreement on Wednesday leaves many questions open, including when and how it would be implemented.

Source: Reuters