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EU to take in 35,000 refugees not 40,000 (3)

Union to reassess situation in six months

(ANSA) - Brussels, July 20 - The EU-28 member nations have agreed to take in 35,000 refugees presently in Italy and Greece, not 40,000 as requested under a draft accord, European diplomatic sources said Monday. The EU will reassess in six months whether it can reach the original 40,000 target, the sources said. The draft accord would have relocated 40,000 people rescued off migrant boats in the Mediterranean and "in clear need of international protection", giving EU members latitude to decide how many refugees to take in. The draft was aimed at overcoming conflicts among EU members after some balked at being ordered to accept a set number of refugees.
    Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said last month that "solidarity is not optional" when it comes to Italy's appeals for help from the EU in handling the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
    The launch of the EUNAVFOR naval operation targeting migrant traffickers is only a "part" of the European initiative on migrants, the minister said.


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