Monday 24 June 2019

'We all need to share the burden of migration' - Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Shona Murray and John Downing in Brussels

All EU countries will now take responsibility for the migrant crisis, it was a agreed after a marathon meeting in Brussels last night.

EU leaders concluded a tentative deal on migration after eight hours of contentious discussion which ended shortly before 5am.

The plan involves the use of closed migrant centres in EU and non-EU states to process asylum claims and decipher whether applicants have a right to remain and which are to be sent home.

Details of how the centres will run remains scant but the processes there would determine who are illegal migrants and "who will be returned".

“I can confirm that before 5am 28 member states managed to agree a compromised framework when it comes to managing illegal migration largely based on new principles,” said the Taoiseach this morning.

“I took the view that we needed to have a degree of burden sharing and the transfer of migrants," said Mr Varadkar.

Ireland reiterated a previous decision to take 4000 migrants from Italy and Greece.

“First of all this is an EU problem and one that we need to work together on”, he said.

EU heads of state and government also said they will target several African countries from which many migrants are leaving.

We are now "committed to working with African countries supporting them to build up governance and security” in order to “create economic opportunity”, said Mr Varadkar.

An additional €500 million for the European trust fund for Africa was pledged with Ireland giving €15 million.

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