The European Commission is now taking a step back and appealing to EU countries to volunteer and receive migrants from rescue vessels in the Mediterranean.
“I urge all EU countries to volunteer,” said EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramoplous at a press conference in Brussels today.
The EU has so far failed to agree on a common asylum policy with mandatory rules, and the EU Commission together with the EU Presidency Romania is now sketching instead on a voluntary plan.
Since last summer , Italy and Malta, and more recently Spain, have closed their ports for rescue vessels unless other countries set up and receive the migrants on board. In Italy, 49 migrants were allowed on board for three weeks before being allowed to land.
– We can not hold on like this, and find emergency solutions every time it happens.
According to the new plan, which details are now being discussed, EU countries should voluntarily offer themselves to receive migrants rescued in the Mediterranean, and the whole thing should be coordinated by the EU.
– The EU should also finance and contribute with experts, Avramopoulios said.
But there are many question marks. For example, such a temporary solution based on volunteerism should make it even more difficult to agree on common mandatory rules within the EU