European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, emphasised the urgent need to overcome the impasse on asylum system reform through majority voting in his address to EU28 leaders at the European Council meeting on Thursday.

“The stalemate on asylum system reform is a gift to populists and Europhobes. We must not be held hostage by consensus at all costs: we must vote by majority, as outlined in the Treaties. The opposition of EU Member States that do not want to receive asylum seekers must be overcome by offering alternatives. One could envisage the obligation to financially assist states that receive refugees and to contribute substantially to the fund that allows investment in Africa to curb migratory flows. By creating opportunities for Africans at home, we can manage the African continent’s demographic challenge, its projected population of 2.5 billion people by 2050,” he stated at the end of his speech.

“Thanks to European funds and EU-Niger cooperation we have reduced migration flows to Libya and Italy by more than 80% since 2016. The reception centre system that we financed in Niger works, but we need more resources and, above all, a mechanism for redistributing asylum seekers in the European Union. African and Balkan countries will not accept reception centres without a guarantee that those entitled to asylum will be redistributed among EU countries,” he added.