‘Weak and inept EU’ shamed by Guy Verhofstadt as EU leaders clash on migration pact

Michel Barnier says immigration should have '3 year suspension'

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The Belgian MEP claimed it was because of a “weak and inept EU” that migration is yet to be properly managed across the bloc. Mr Verhofstadt tweeted a link to an article that debunked the idea of a “pull-factor” pushing migration in the Mediterranean – pointing instead the finger at the EU.

He wrote: “Migration myths are at the heart of populism across the EU. They undermine public trust.

“People suffer and die in the Mediterranean because of them.

“The real risk in managing migration?

“A weak and inept EU!”

It comes as EU leaders finally decided this week to transform the European Asylum Support Office into a European Union Agency of Asylum.

The key initiative comes under the bloc’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

The new agency will help make asylum procedures in Member States of higher quality, more uniform and faster.

Its new reserve of 500 experts will also provide more effective support to national asylum systems facing a high caseload, making the overall EU migration management system more efficient and sustainable.

Commissioner Margaritis Schinas said: “When we presented our proposal for an EU Pact on Migration and Asylum last September, we were aiming at creating a coherent and well-functioning European asylum system.

“Today’s agreement is a first important building block in this process.

“Member States will now be able to rely on the full operational support of the EU Asylum Agency, both under normal circumstances and when they are in difficulty.

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“The agency will make a tangible difference to asylum procedures, improving protection for individuals and addressing gaps to create greater convergence between Member States’ asylum systems.”

Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, added: “The New Pact on Migration and Asylum is in motion.

“I am very pleased with this second legislative agreement since I took office.

“We need asylum decisions to be taken in a fast and fair manner and with the same high quality everywhere in Europe. And we need high and convergent reception standards across Member States.

“The new Agency will help achieve this, building on the excellent work of EASO.

“It will also help us move away from crisis into preparedness and response – a key step towards sustainable migration management in Europe.”

But the countries most affected in the Mediterranean – Italy, Malta, Greece, Cyprus and Spain – are expected to make a statement today to recall their joint position that the EUAA agreement is not conducive to the de-packaging of the migration file.

The new agency will monitor the way EU countries implement their asylum systems.

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