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Merkel: No agreement in sight on EU-wide asylum policy

Europe | 2018-06-27 03:57:46
 Merkel: No agreement in sight on EU-wide asylum policy
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lowered expectations concerning a potential agreement on an EU-wide asylum policy at a European leader summit this week.

Speaking at a joint news conference alongside Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Berlin, Merkel conceded that EU member states could not yet bridge their differences on migration.

“For the whole asylum package, there won’t be a solution by Friday,” Merkel said, adding that discussions were continuing on two of seven EU directives, which would set common procedures on asylum procedures.

Leaders of 28 EU member states will gather in Brussels on June 28-29 for a summit that will focus on refugees.

Merkel has reiterated her proposal that like-minded EU member states could move forward with bilateral or multinational agreements on asylum and migration, without waiting for others who have proved skeptical.

The German chancellor has been under growing pressure at home to address the refugee issue.

Her ultra-conservative coalition partner Christian Social Union (CSU) has pushed for unilateral measures and gave Merkel an end-of-the-month deadline.

CSU leader and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said he would wait for the outcome of Merkel’s talks with EU partners and from July 1 would start implementing stricter measures at Germany’s national borders.

He argued that asylum-seekers should be turned away at Germany’s border if they entered the EU from another member state and first registered there. Or if they had already applied for asylum and been rejected.

Chancellor Merkel has strongly opposed Seehofer’s plan and said such a unilateral move would have “a domino effect”, prompting other EU member states to push back refugees and further increase the burden of member states like Italy and Greece.
Anadolu Agency
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