An informal migration and asylum workshop was convened on Wednesday, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, to Brussels on Sunday, at the meeting with leaders from some interested Member States.
According to official information, the purpose of the consultation is to find “European solutions” to migration issues before the EU summit of Heads of State and Government next Thursday.
The press reported that the leaders of Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Malta, Germany, Italy and Spain were invited to the weekend mini-summit, but later the Belgian and Dutch prime ministers also announced that they would attend the meeting.
Juncker said Wednesday that he had not initiated the conciliation but had been contacted by some Member States to convene a meeting with the leaders of the countries concerned. The chairman of the committee also added that the planned meeting, as he said, may participate in other countries.
He said it was not about trying to “dictate” the issue of migration to those Member States whose representatives were not present at the meeting.
Finally, he said that he has some ideas he will introduce, but he does not want to go into the details.
The German daily Handelsblatt, meanwhile, wrote that it had obtained the first draft of the declaration to be presented at the meeting, in which Juncker proposed to extend the powers of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and to increase to 10,000 by the end of 2020 the EU’s border guard (Frontex) staff.
The draft also calls for stricter action against the “secondary movement” of asylum seekers between EU Member States. As stated, EU countries would have to impose on asylum seekers a “punishment” penalty not to travel to another Member State and tighten their control at airports, railway and bus stations.
The text described by the newspaper underlines that “(the concerned) has no right to choose in which country they are applying for asylum”.
According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the chairman of the committee convened the meeting at the request of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
According to experts, the most important and shared theme of the EU summit, which is to be discussed next week, will be the most important and shared theme of migration and asylum policy.
In Brussels, there is little chance for Member State leaders to compromise on the reform of the so-called Dublin Asylum System.