EU summit: Italy blocks summit decisions on refugee issue

The first results of the EU summit are available, but Italy's prime minister is in favour of concessions in the asylum dispute. He wants to overcome the Dublin rules.

EU summit: Italy blocks summit decisions on refugee issue

Italy is preventing publication of first results of EU summit in areas of security, trade and economy. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte first wanted to wait for debate planned for evening on European Union's migration policy, it was said from Italian government circles in Brussels. "As a state reserves right to agree to all conclusions, re is no agreement at this stage," spokesman of EU Council President Donald Tusk announced. A press conference of EU leaders was first cancelled.

Apparently, Conte wanted to keep a pressure in his hand, he insisted on a radical change in current Dublin rules. In afternoon, he had threatened not to contribute entire summit declaration if EU partners of government in Rome did not meet issue of asylum.

Conte presented a ten-point plan for migration this week. The main requirement is to "overcome" existing EU rules on asylum. In particular, it is a requirement that first arrival country is normally responsible for asylum seekers. In recent weeks, government in Rome had already refused to allow ships of aid agencies with refugees rescued from Libya to access Italian ports. Conte does not want to agree to an agreement unless or states include ships with migrants.

President Tusk had originally proposed that first decisions on trade policy and defence policy should be approved by consensus in afternoon. Conte did not want to accept this, as it was called by participants. He zogmit step of critique. "Some EU handlebars were surprised by this," said an EU diplomat.

In afternoon, prime minister had said that Italy had heard many expressions of solidarity over last few years, "we hope that se words will translate into facts." In Italy, tens of thousands of migrants arrive every year from North Africa, heading towards Europe from Mediterranean. It is Conte's first official EU summit. His government, which has been in office for a few weeks, is supported by populist 5-Star Movement and right Lega.

"It cannot be that any Bavarian party decides how Europe works"

Meanwhile, several European leaders have pledged ir support to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in search for a European solution in refugee policy. The heads of Government of Spain, Greece, Finland and Luxembourg presented mselves at EU summit behind plans of Germany to deny refugees appeal from country to country.

"We need a common response to common challenge of migration," said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. Solidarity is important, especially in relation to Germany, which is currently in a political crisis. The Luxembourg prime Minister Xavier Bettel said that he understands that after arrival of many refugees from different countries, Germany is questioning how to cope with all this. "Nor can any Bavarian party decide how Europe works," he said.

Merkel had warned in morning in her government statement in Bundestag that "migration could become a question of destiny for European Union".

The Chancellor is under pressure because of refugee dispute with coalition partner CSU. The Bavarian party wants to disprove refugees at border against Merkel's will. The CSU is concerned about its majority in Landtag election in October and has put an ultimatum to chancellor for a solution by beginning of July. On a mini-summit, which was convened on Sunday, CDU chief promised to dispel concerns of Munich with conclusion of intergovernmental agreements.

At EU summit, re is apparently movement in dispute. Hungary envisages such an agreement in Germany, said a spokesman of Budapest government. And France would offer Germany an agreement on withdrawal of certain migrants if it were asked, it was said from Parisian government circles.

Date Of Update: 29 June 2018, 12:01

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