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European Council: Tajani (EU Parliament), “closing the Mediterranean route, strengthening the borders, reforming the Dublin Regulation”

(Brussels) Stopping the flows, reforming the Dublin Regulation, cooperating with the African countries: these are the items on which Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, insists most with the European Council, items that he repeats several times at the press conference. “The first priority right now is closing the Mediterranean routes, strengthening the external borders, and reforming the European asylum system”, he states. “At the same time, we must support stabilisation in Libya, fund refugee protection centres in the transit countries, and invest in Africa to give opportunities to young Africans in their countries”. Then, he raises a doubt: “This European Council meeting will be remembered for a long time, but we do not know yet whether as a good or as a bad thing. This will depend on us, and on the answers we will be able to give to our citizens’ most pressing concerns about the refugees crisis”. Tajani, who had had bilateral meetings with the Italian Prime Minister, Conte, and with the Spanish Prime Minister, Sanchez, before the summit, states: “The European citizens are torn between a humanitarian drive and the fear of uncontrolled flows of refugees. In this predicament, the first thing we must do is stopping people leaving the transit countries and the African coasts, by letting only those really eligible for asylum arrive safely in Europe. So, the first priority is closing the Mediterranean routes. As we did with the agreement with Turkey, which led us to close the Balkan route, we must invest at least 6 billion to achieve this result”.

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