Date
19 January 2017
Survivors lie on the deck of an Italian coastguard ship on April 20 after a migrant boat capsized in the Mediterranean over the weekend, killing as many as 700. Photo: Reuters
Survivors lie on the deck of an Italian coastguard ship on April 20 after a migrant boat capsized in the Mediterranean over the weekend, killing as many as 700. Photo: Reuters

EU calls emergency meeting to address migration crisis

The European Union promised a set of measures to address the region’s growing migration crisis, aiming to stem the flood of people risking the deadly sea-crossing to Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The proposals, which will go to EU leaders for approval at an emergency summit on Thursday, include greater resources and a broader mandate for a joint EU-Italian border-control mission, as well as a possible military operation to destroy boats used by people smugglers, the report said.

The efforts come after the latest disaster in the Mediterranean over the weekend when as many as 700 migrants were feared to have died as an overcrowded boat capsized near the Libyan coast.

In response to the tragedy, the EU’s interior ministers rushed to Luxembourg to join an already planned meeting of the foreign ministers. 

In a news conference after the ministers’ meeting, EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini admitted to the bloc’s failure to act more quickly after previous tragedies.

“I think we don’t have to be afraid of showing the limits… of the policy-making processes. This is sad. This is not a justification and I am afraid we will not find justifications,” she was quoted as saying.

“I hope this is the dramatic alarm clock for all Europeans.”

Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk called EU leaders for an emergency summit in Brussels on Thursday.

“The situation in the Mediterranean is dramatic. It cannot continue like this. We cannot accept that hundreds of people die while trying to cross to Europe,” Tusk was quoted as saying in a video message.

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RC

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