Germany, Italy and Austria on July 12 agreed to work together to combat illegal migration ahead of a meeting of the EU ministers of justice and interior.
Interior ministers of the three countries held a trilateral meeting early on July 12 before meeting the rest of their EU counterparts in an informal meeting on immigration in Austria.
“We have all agreed that we have had a certain amount of disorder in one area for too long, that we want to organize, that we want to send the human traffickers a clear message, that it will not be possible in future to enter the European soil if you have no right to protection,” Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl told reporters after meeting his Italian and German counterparts.
As reported by the Spanish news agency EFE, the three countries will organise a technical-level meeting on July 19 in Vienna to rapidly develop a plan to curb immigration, the Austrian minister said, whose country is currently presiding over the European Council.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said that the three countries would work together to reduce departures (from outside Europe towards Europe), landings and deaths (in the Mediterranean).
His German counterpart, Horst Seehofer, said it should be the governments and not human traffickers who decide who gets asylum in Europe.
“We must not leave it to them (human traffickers), who comes in what country; the democratic governments must decide that,” said Seehofer. “I think we are all very much looking forward to (the European Migration) Commissioner Avramopoulos, who will explain how the Commission intends to implement the resolutions of the Council on 28 June.”
In other related news, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that Spain’s Supreme Court has ordered Madrid to take in more refugees after ruling it had not honoured its EU commitment to accept least 16,000 asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece.
“More than six months after the deadline expired, a report by (Spain’s) Office for asylum and refugees recognises that the current track record with respect to its final obligations is below 13 percent,” the court said in a ruling dated July 9 but released on July 12.
As a result, Spain must “continue the procedure” to take in refugees, the court added, but stopped short of fining the government.