The European Council on Thursday could decide to establish offshore processing centres for identifying asylum applicants who are genuinely in need of international protection, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) confirmed to Kauppalehti on Sunday.
The remainder of the applicants would be sent back to their country of origin.
The European Union is considering the establishing so-called regional disembarkation centres in North Africa, and increasing its co-operation with Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Niger and Morocco.
Sipilä revealed to the business-oriented newspaper yesterday that the idea of establishing the disembarkation centres received widespread support from the 17 heads of state participating in an emergency meeting held in Brussels on Sunday at the request of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The discussions revolved largely around possible co-operation partners for the 28-country bloc, according to Sipilä.
“We called attention to Tunisia and Morocco, for example, in addition to Libya,” he said to Kauppalehti.
However, no decisions on the location of he disembarkation centres were made in the informal talks on Sunday.
The EU, he added, should make sure conditions at the disembarkation centres are fair by co-operating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which also has experience of examining asylum applications under the quota refugee scheme.
The Guardian reported ahead of the talks that no African country has yet to agree to host the centres and that also a number of other political, practical and legal questions remain unanswered.
Sipilä told Kauppalehti he believes the centres would rationalise what has become a unreasonably complex asylum system and make it more humane by ensuring a higher share of applicants are granted asylum after their arrival in Europe.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Anniina Luotonen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi