EU leaders seek unity on refugee plans

Updated: 2015-09-24 08:23


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Turkey, locked in a long love-hate relationship with Europe and through which the bulk of the summer's migrants have reached Greece, may hear promises of up to 2 billion euros to help build schools and provide for the welfare of the 2 million Syrians it has accommodated from the civil war.

Johannes Hahn, who deals with the EU's neighbours as a member of the executive Commission, said on Wednesday that a trust fund established to help Syrian refugees across the region, including in Jordan and Lebanon, could reach 1 billion euros on a mix of pledges from the EU and the member states.

The Commission, among proposals adopted at its weekly meeting on Wednesday, also called on them to reverse cuts in their funding for the World Food Programme.

Overall, Juncker said, the EU had doubled the funds targeted to deal with migration to 9.5 billion euros ($10.6 billion).

Noting plans to install "hot spots" on the Mediterranean where seconded EU officials will document arrivals and try to speed the deportation of those not qualifying for refugee status, Commission First Vice President Timmermans said:

"The most urgent thing we need to do is to make sure we can fingerprint and register everyone who arrives so that we can make a distinction between those who potentially have the right to asylum and people who are migrants who don't." ($1 = 0.8985 euros)


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