EU to 'intensify' migrant hotspots, relocations

Draft document outlines nomination of country liaison officers

(ANSA) - Brussels, November 9 - The EU plans to "intensify" the opening of new migrant hotspots in Italy and Greece to be operative by the end of November, according to a draft document for Monday's meeting of EU interior ministers.
    Hotspots are specifically-targeted "frontline" locations, currently in Italy and Greece, in which EU agencies work on the ground with local authorities to identify, register and fingerprint incoming migrants.
    The intensification will also involve the migrant relocation process, specifically with the nomination of "liaison officers" in countries that express their willingness to accept migrant relocations, "preferably by November 16", the draft said, adding that correspondingly, "Italy and Greece will speed up the preparatory steps for carrying out the relocations".
    The draft said that "member states, with the full support of the European Commission and Frontex, will increase the number of repatriations".
    Regarding the issue of possible non-cooperation by migrants, the document said that "in full respect of human rights and of the principal of non-refoulement" it would however retain the right to use all available "enforcement measures, including, as a last resort, the use of detention." The document said it would "explore the concept" of the rather controversial issue of creating centres for organising migrant access to international protection or repatriation.


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