EU fund 'to cooperate with Africa against migration'

Germany to take in 500,000 refugees per year

08 September, 20:25

    Migrants rescued in the Strait of Sicily Migrants rescued in the Strait of Sicily

    ROME - A 'trust fund' to collect funds from the European Commission and state contributions to cooperate with African countries and resolve the causes of migration at their origin is one of the ideas being worked on ahead of the Valletta conference.

    The conference will take place in November.

    EU sources say that Jean Claude Juncker will discuss the matter on Wednesday at the European Parliament. The fund may begin with 1.5 billion euros, depending on to what extent individual nations take part. On Wednesday, the European Parliament will be voting on the relocation of 40,000 asylum seekers: 24,000 Syrians and Eritreans from Italy and 16,000 from Greece in 24 months. The decision will be adopted officially by a special EU interior ministers council meeting on September 14. The first relocations will begin when the decision is published in the EU's official gazette. While Hungary calls for the closing of borders and Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants more workers to build a barrier to keep migrants out, Germany is pushing ahead on its policy of being willing to take in 500,000 migrants per year for several years, said Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. Meanwhile, the EU refugee relocation plan is awaited.

    Countries will be able to reject it for one year only for serious reasons, paying a fine equal to 0.002% of their GDP. The fines will be paid into the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) in line with Juncker's plan for the refugee emergency now being scrutinized by the College of Commissioners.

    However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, concerning the target of binding migrant quotas ''we are unfortunately very far away, and we think that something must change''. Spain has meanwhile said that it is willing to take in the number of refugees that the European Commission decides. The EU is expected to send 14,931 refugees to Spain, the largest number after those to Germany (31,443) and France (24,031). In 2015, the UNHCR expects around 400,000 people fleeing across the Mediterranean to request asylum in Europe. In 2016, this number may rise to 450,000 new requests or more.

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