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By Benjamin Fox

Reaching a common EU response to the long-running migration crisis has been painfully slow. Ministers remain deadlocked on plans to reform the so-called Dublin Regulation that sets out the EU’s common migration and asylum rules.

Italian MEP Elly Schlein, the negotiator on Dublin for the centre-left Socialist and Democrat group, described this impasse as “shameful”.

“They have had the proposal from the European Commission for over two years. Instead, they are focused only on externalising borders,” by cutting deals with the likes of Libya and Turkey, she told EURACTIV.

“There is no leadership…no understanding that common challenges need common solutions,” she added.

While ministers remain divided, MEPs backed an overhaul of the Dublin Regulation last November with a large cross-party majority, and are now waiting for governments to join them at the negotiating table.

Schlein described the Parliament vote as “a historical mark”, and says that she “wasn’t expecting to get to get such an ambitious approach in the EP on such a divisive matter.”

“It was the first time that the European Parliament found a compromise on first country entry on automatic burden sharing,” and amounted to a “truly European” approach on migration, she says.

Schlein, Swedish rapporteur Cecilia Wikström, and the Parliament’s other negotiators will hold a press conference in the coming days to urge member states to reach a common position and agree to the initiation of negotiations.

Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos will spearhead another attempt to get EU leaders to agree a common position on the overhaul of the bloc’s Dublin regulation at a summit in Brussels on 28-29 June.


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