EU leaders plan secure migrant centers
Secure centers for migrants may be set up in EU states to process asylum claims under a deal reached after marathon talks at a summit in Brussels.
The controlled centers would be set up by EU states on a voluntary basis and migrants whose claims were rejected would be "returned".
Refugees could be resettled in EU states which agreed to take them.
The deal follows weeks of diplomatic wrangling over migrant rescue ships, and which country should take them in.
The 28 EU leaders also agreed several other measures:
- strengthening external border controls, and boosting financing for Turkey and countries in North Africa
- exploring the possibility of "regional disembarkation platforms", aimed at breaking the business model of people-smuggling gangs by processing refugees and migrants outside the EU. However getting North African countries to host such centres could be very difficult and Morocco again on Thursday rejected the idea
- internal measures taken by member states to stop migrants moving within the EU, which the agreement said undermined asylum policy and the border-free Schengen travel area
- more investment in Africa to help the continent achieve a "substantial socio-economic transformation" so people no longer leave for a better life
- further work to reform EU asylum policy, including changes to the so-called Dublin regulation under which migrants must be considered for asylum in the first safe country where they arrive.