Brussels, June 9 (BNA) The European Union ministers agreed on how to share the responsibility for caring for migrants and refugees. After 12 hours of negotiations, they succeeded in persuading Italy and Greece to sign an agreement that eluded the bloc. Almost a decade.
Home affairs ministers from the 27-nation bloc struck the deal, hoping to end years of division dating back to 2015 when more than a million people – mostly fleeing the war in Syria – arrived in the European Union across the Mediterranean, Reuters reports. .
Hosting immigrants has become an increasingly divisive issue in the bloc since 2015.
Unable to agree on how to share responsibility, EU countries have mostly focused on reducing arrivals, with UN data showing fewer than 160,000 people crossed the sea last year to a bloc of half a billion.
Approximately 2,500 people were killed or missing in the dangerous crossing over the same period.
Under the agreement, which was finally consolidated and is due to be finalized before EU elections in 2024, each country will be responsible for but not necessarily take in a set number of people.
Countries unwilling to take in irregular migrants and refugees arriving in the EU will privately be able to help their hosting counterparts with cash – around €20,000 (AU$32,100) per person – equipment or personnel.