Germany, Italy to insist on refugee redistribution across EU members- Merkel

Nigerian refugees in a camp in Niger (PHOTO:NAN)
Nigerian refugees in a camp in Niger (PHOTO:NAN)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has said that Germany and Italy will continue to demand a redistribution of refugees in the European Union (EU) in spite of heavy resistance from some member states.

Merkel disclosed this to newsmen on Friday during a meeting with her Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni.

“Both countries were entirely on the same page with regards to plans for a new European asylum system agreed in 2016,’’ Merkel emphasised.

After initially agreeing to take in larger numbers of refugees to ensure a more even distribution thereof across the EU, several member states including Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary have still not fulfilled their respective quotas and now face legal prosecution by the EU Commission.

Addressing this so-called “Visegrad’’ group of states, Gentiloni argued that it was time for “solidarity to manifest itself.’’

“The Italian prime minister expressed confidence that good compromise could be found on the pending reform the “Dublin III” regime which determines which of its signatory states is responsible for processing asylum seekers.’’

So far EU interior ministers have been unable to reach a final agreement on the shape of a “Dublin IV” system.

Critics of the current rules have repeatedly highlighted that EU asylum policy disadvantages member states at the Schengen area’s external borders, such as Italy and Greece, as they are legally responsible for the bulk of refugees.

Following the temporary collapse of “Dublin III” under the severe strain of the 2015 “refugee crisis”, over one million asylum seekers arrived in Germany.

A proposal by the European Commission, which is now under discussion by EU heads of state and the European Parliament, would witness the creation of a permanent redistribution mechanism.

It added that countries would be allocated a share of asylum seekers based on the size of their domestic population and economic abilities.

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