European Council addresses illegal migration challenges

Author (Person)
Series Details June 2018
Publication Date 28/06/2018
Content Type


A discussion was held on 28 June 2018 at the European Council summit on the challenges concerning illegal migration into the European Union.

This discussion followed an informal meeting of some EU Member States to address these specific topic. Media reports from the European Council highlighted the deep divisions between Member States on the issue, with a set of conclusions being published only after long hours of discussion.

+ Informal meeting on migration and asylum issues, 24 June 2018

Both occasions were affected by politics with different Member States, like in Germany and Italy.

Further information:

The Council called for further measures to reduce illegal migration and prevent a return to uncontrolled flows. Leaders also agreed that this was a challenge not only for a single EU country, but for Europe as a whole.

Leaders agreed to step up efforts to stop migrant smugglers and carry on their support to the frontline EU countries. It was agreed the increase in support for the North African region and its authorities, as well as improved cooperation with other countries of origin and transit as well as voluntary resettlement.

The Council highlighted the need to fully implement the EU-Turkey Statement, prevent new crossings from Turkey and bring the flows to a halt. EU leaders also agreed to support efforts to prevent illegal migration in the Western Mediterranean.

EU leaders also supported the development of a concept of regional disembarkation platforms for people saved at sea, allowing the quick and safe distinguishing between economic migrants and asylum seekers. They also agreed that on EU territory, those who are saved, should be taken charge of, on the basis of a shared effort, through the transfer in controlled centres. These centres were to be set up in member states, only on a voluntary basis.

The European Council agreed on launching the second tranche of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey and at the same time on transferring €500 million from the 11th EDF reserve to the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

Concerning the internal situation, member states agreed the necessary measures should be taken to prevent secondary movements of asylum seekers and to cooperate with each other to that end.

Finally, EU leaders discussed the reform of EU asylum rules.

Related Links
Euro|topics, July 2018: What to make of the EU's migration compromise?
Euro|topics, June 2018: Can the EU summit resolve the row over migration?
[Opinion] Politico, 03.07.18: EU to migrants: Go home and stay home
[Opinion] Politico, 29.06.18: Europe’s migration problem isn’t over yet
Politico, 29.06.18: EU leaders clinch migration deal in marathon summit
Politico, 28.06.18: Austria’s Kurz: Close EU’s external borders, not internal frontiers
Politico, 28.06.18: Italian PM says he could veto Council migration conclusions
EurActiv, 29.06.18: EU summit approves tortured conclusions on migration after sleepless night
Deutsche Welle, 29.06.18: EU leaders reach migration deal after marathon talks in Brussels
LSE European Institute: EuroppBlog, 16.07.18: Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump
Politico, 30.06.18: Tusk claims victory on migration deal
Balkan Insight, 29.06.18: EU Migration Summit Pledges Cooperation With Balkans
BBC News, 28.06.18: Migrant crisis: EU summit divided amid migration row
Amnesty International: Press Release, 29.06.18: New EU migration plans dangerous and miss the point
EurActiv, 02.07.18: 'Controlled centres' for migrants – not 'hotspots', say EU leaders
The Guardian, 29.06.18: EU leaders hail summit victory on migration but details scant
European Parliament: Press Release, 27.06.18: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

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