European Union flags near the seat of the European Commission in Brussels |  Photo/EPA/JULIEN WARNAND
European Union flags near the seat of the European Commission in Brussels | Photo/EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

Negotiations among EU member states to revise the Dublin regulation are stalling over divisions between southern and eastern Union members, especially on balancing solidarity with responsibility.

Talks on the revision of the Dublin regulation are continuing to stall. The ambassadors of the member states' permanent representatives (Coreper) discussed the proposal of the Bulgarian presidency but the discussion once again revealed the distance between the position of southern countries (Italy, Malta, Greece, Spain and Cyprus) and eastern members (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia).

In particular, according to well-informed sources, Italy is against the proposal because it is not satisfied with the balance between solidarity and responsibility. Germany and the EU Commission insist on the need to find a solution by the end of June when the mandate of the Bulgarian presidency will end and Austria will take the lead. 

The issues at the center of talks 

According to the sources, Italy believes that the latest draft further emphasizes the aspect of responsibility to the detriment of solidarity and the system as a whole is ineffective. Although Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Malta requested, in a joint document, to lower the responsibility for the first entry of a migrant to two years, the latest proposed draft sets it at eight (previous drafts went from 10 to five). 

Based on the last version of the draft reform, the other EU countries could also send migrants back to Italy with a simple notification rather than a request and clauses to end responsibility are also eliminated. On the other hand, the mechanism selected for the redistribution of asylum seekers among EU countries is deemed too complicated and can allegedly be activated only with a very high number of arrivals. 

Talks were heated, as during previous rounds of negotiations over the last two years and a half. 

2.5 billion proposed for borders in 2019 EU budget 

Meanwhile, over the past few days the European budget commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, announced that 2.5 billion euros would be allocated for the management of the European Union's external borders in the 2019 draft budget to be approved by the European Council and Parliament. He said the focus was on border States such as Bulgaria, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Italy, France and Spain. The commissioner explained that, despite restrictions on the multiannual 2014-2020 budget, the European Commission is using all the flexibility it is allowed to guarantee that, in 2019 as well, particular attention will be devoted to aspects concerning migration and border management. 

Moreover, 460 million euros are expected to be pledged for the reform of the European asylum system to guarantee more efficient and equal policies and for the eventual reallocation of asylum seekers, explained Oettinger. (Picture shows )

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