03 July 2018
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The move could complicate a scheme being discussed among EU heads of state and leaders at their summit in Brussels on Thursday (28 June) to create so-called 'disembarkation platforms' outside the EU.
Although still at the conceptual stage, such platforms have gathered traction among EU states as part of a larger bid to further stem migration flows across the Mediterranean Sea.
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, wants the platforms outside Europe with the cooperation of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM).
But a joint confidential letter [pdf] sent by heads of the UNHCR and IOM says any such country, as in north Africa, must first set up reception centres that provide "adequate, safe and dignified reception conditions."
See: UN sets conditions for EU 'disembarkation platforms' (EUobserver, link)
The letter: Letter from the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (contained in Council document 10621/18, LIMITE, 28 June 2018, pdf)
The European Commission also recently published a note of its own providing "a first assessment of the legal and practical feasibility of the three different scenarios on disembarkation presented at the Informal Working Meeting of 24 June 2018": The legal and practical feasibility of disembarkation options (pdf)
See further:European Council on migration: documentation and reactions to the "summit of shame" (2 July 2018)
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