European Union leaders agreed on Friday to set up joint asylum processing sites and restrict migrants’ moves within the bloc, responding to concerns from Rome and Berlin at a hard-fought summit.
EU diplomats said the leaders finally found agreement on a vaguely worded concept centring on reception centres to deal with migrants and asylum seekers in EU nations which would volunteer to have them.
“All the measures in the context of these controlled centres, including relocation and resettlement, will be on a voluntary basis,” said the leaders’ joint statement, agreed after nine hours of negotiations.
The 28 EU leaders also agreed to tighten their external border more, increase financing for Turkey, Morocco and Northern African states to prevent migration to Europe.
EU Council President Donald Tusk said in a tweet the 28 EU leaders have agreed on a migration compromise which was at the heart of their two-day summit.
Speaking as he was leaving, French President Emmanuel Macron said the deal was “good news”.