EU Migrant Crisis Talks in Luxembourg

EU Migrant Crisis Talks in LuxembourgEU Migrant Crisis Talks in Luxembourg

Talks to tackle migrant relocation plans were set to continue on Tuesday as EU interior ministers met in Luxembourg. The meeting followed a war of words between France and Italy over migrants waiting near Ventimiglia.

Proposals from the European Commission to relocate 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU countries over the next two years are expected to be denounced by several EU governments on Tuesday, DW reported.

EU rules currently specify that asylum claims must be processed in the first EU country migrants set foot in. Countries such as Greece and Italy, however, which have seen the largest influxes of migrants travelling from Africa across the Mediterranean, said the rules have become inapplicable.

As the main landing point for Europe-bound boat migrants, Italy alone has registered around 60,000 migrant landings since the start of this year.

“There can be no national selfishness and no closing of the eyes. If Europe wants to be Europe, it must tackle this problem collectively,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano described the images of migrants as a “punch in the face for Europe,” to which his French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, hit back, insisting that France was fully within its rights to send illegal immigrants or asylum seekers back to Italy.