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EU countries agree to new migrant and refugee mechanism

Christian Fernsby |
Fourteen-member countries of the European Union agreed to a new "solidarity mechanism" proposed by Germany and France to allocate migrants and refugees across the bloc, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

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The announcement came after foreign affairs and interior ministers of the EU gathered in the French capital, Paris, on Monday to discuss immigration and security issues following a first gathering in Finland last week.

"The conclusion of this morning's meeting is that, in principle, 14-member states, at this stage, have expressed their agreement with the Franco-German document," Macron told reporters.

Macron, who called for the meeting, did not spell out specifics but said the new initiative would be "quick" and "automatic".

Disagreements on how to share out rescuees led the EU to end its Mediterranean Sea patrols earlier this year, with Italy's rejection of the arrangement whereby those rescued at sea were predominantly taken to Italian ports a critical factor in the move.Fourteen-member countries of the European Union agreed to a new "solidarity mechanism" proposed by Germany and France to allocate migrants and refugees across the bloc, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

The announcement came after foreign affairs and interior ministers of the EU gathered in the French capital, Paris, on Monday to discuss immigration and security issues following a first gathering in Finland last week.

"The conclusion of this morning's meeting is that, in principle, 14-member states, at this stage, have expressed their agreement with the Franco-German document," Macron told reporters.

Macron, who called for the meeting, did not spell out specifics but said the new initiative would be "quick" and "automatic".

Disagreements on how to share out rescuees led the EU to end its Mediterranean Sea patrols earlier this year, with Italy's rejection of the arrangement whereby those rescued at sea were predominantly taken to Italian ports a critical factor in the move.

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, whose country is at the forefront of the migrant and refugee influx in Europe, did not take part in Monday's meeting.

In a letter to his French counterpart Christophe Castaner, Salvini warned of the effect of decisions "solely taken in Paris and Berlin".


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