EU Migration Mini-Summit underway

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Politico reports that Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he would put forward a “completely new proposal” for managing Europe’s most divisive political issue.

Conte said the proposal, the “European Multilevel Strategy for Migration,” would “completely overtake” the EU’s Dublin agreement on handling asylum cases, which EU member countries have been trying to reach agreement on reforming for years.

“I’m here to put forward an Italian proposal … completely new,” Conte said. He said the plan consisted of six points and 10 goals to set a “sustainable and effective” migration policy. He said it would “completely overtake the Dublin agreement” because public opinion had demanded it.

The text of the Italian proposal calls for “shared responsibility among member states” when it comes to handling migrants who arrive by sea at the EU’s external borders. “We can’t take everyone to Italy and Spain,” the document states, envisaging “reception centers in several European countries.”

The mini-summit at the European Commission, just days before a regular summit of EU leaders, was called at the behest of Merkel, who has faced an acute political crisis at home over tough new border control policies being pushed by Horst Seehofer, her interior minister and the leader of her coalition partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

“It’s obvious that the situation is extremely precarious,” Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on arrival for the mini-summit.  “I don’t think it’s time for finger-pointing. I do think people are looking at us to find solutions.

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