Jennifer Rankin in Brussels, and Patrick Kingsley in Istanbul | Monday 6 June 2016 | The Guardian
Proposal intended to stop refugees reaching southern Europe, according to draft document seen by the Guardian
Europe is considering whether to forge ahead with a plan to work with repressive African regimes in an attempt to stem migration flows, according to the draft version of a policy expected to be finalised by European officials on Tuesday.
To stop refugees reaching southern Europe from Africa, Europe is mulling whether to partner with Sudan, whose president is wanted for war crimes, and Eritrea, whose government is accused of crimes against humanity by the UN.
Tuesday’s policy paper is only the latest attempt by the EU to stem the flow of people arriving on Europe’s shores. At a summit in Valletta last November, the EU promised to give 23 African nations a share in a €1.8bn (£1.4bn) “trust fund”, money for employment projects and border controls to dissuade people from travelling to Europe.
Some countries would like to see the EU go further, with a tougher approach to refugees. Austria’s foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz, has called for asylum seekers to be kept on islands rather than having direct access to the continent. In an interview with Die Presse on Sunday, he urged the EU to follow the Australian model, where migrants and refugees are sent to Pacific island detention centres, where they are held indefinitely, while their asylum applications are processed.
Hungary, a staunch opponent of plans to redistribute refugees around the bloc, had already proposed that refugees be restricted to “closed and protected” centres beyond the EU’s borders.
Read more – The Guardian view on Eritrea: a regime of terror