The Financial Times reports that Brussels will offer EU governments €6,000 for every migrant they take in from boats stranded in the Mediterranean, in plans designed to help ease pressure on Italy’s new anti-immigration government.
The European Commission will publish proposals on Tuesday on how to stem the flow of migrants coming into Europe. These include helping to foot the bill for creating “controlled centres” for member states which agree to set them up on their territory.
The Commission will also pay governments for up to 500 migrants that they rescue from each boat stranded at sea, said an official briefed on the talks. The financial incentives will be introduced after migrant rescue boats were barred from docking in Italy by Rome’s new populist government. Brussels will offer countries that agree to take some of the rescued people €6,000 per migrant, according to the plans.
Spain is likely to be the biggest beneficiary, having taken in more than 1,200 rescued migrants from stranded boats in the Mediterranean in the past week alone. France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Malta have also received smaller numbers from rescues in recent weeks. By offering financial incentives to countries to share the burden, Brussels is hoping to persuade Rome’s government to do more to prevent failed asylum seekers who enter Italy from travelling on to other EU member states.
The cornerstone of this plan involves frontline migrant states setting up “controlled centres” on their territory to process asylum claims and to send back failed claimants to their country of origin. The commission will say that it will provide any government that houses the centres the “full support of the EU and EU agencies”, including border guards and security officers paid for with money from the bloc’s common budget.