The expenses of taking in of migrants into countries from boats that arrive on the Mediterranean would be shouldered by the European Commission. The commission hopes that this would entice countries to accept migrants coming into Europe after the new government in Italy refused to accept migrants and shut down its ports for rescue boats.
An amount of 6,000 euros ($7,010) for every migrant that is taken in by EU member states would be paid by the commission according to the proposal that was published by it on Tuesday. Additionally, the commission would also finance the expenses that are incurred for hundreds of personnel who are engaged in the process of the mostly African migrants that are migrating into Europe seeking asylum.
The offer was denounced as being far too little by Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salyini.
“We aren’t asking for charity handouts. Every asylum seeker costs the Italian taxpayer between 40,000 and 50,000 euros ($46,700 and $58,400). Brussels, they can keep their charity for themselves,” Salvini told reporters. “We don’t want money. We want dignity.”
The plan of the commission is aimed for those EU government that set up processing centers in their countries and comes after a summit in June of the EU leaders where an agreement was reached after hard fought arguments on the methods to control the wave of immigration being faced by the block. However, there were many issues that still remain to be resolved.
In 2015, over a million undocumented migrants had come into the EU but that rate has fallen significantly since then. However, recent polls have shown that for most of the 500 million citizens of the EU, migration still remains an issue of top priority.
While there is immense pressure from the home constituencies of Italy and German governments to make sure that the government allow fewer migrants into the countries from across the Mediterranean Sea, there is stiff opposition from taking in migrants from eastern European leaders.
Claiming that it is facing an unfair burden of asylum seekers, all of its ports have been closed for rescue vessels by Italy.
Even though EU member countries are yet to come forth to host new processing centres, the commission was seeking “a truly shared regional responsibility in responding to complex migration challenges” by publishing the proposals, said Natasha Berthaud, a European Commission spokeswoman.
The EU is slated to hold more consultations this week over the issue.
(Adapted from AalJazeera.com)