EU considering “processing centres” in W. Balkans to contain migrant flow

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The European Union is considering the establishment of migrant processing centres also in western Balkan countries, including both European Union members and non-members in a bid to relieve the current burden on Greece that has to cope with the influx of 10,000 migrants per day, according to Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.

Asselborn, whose country is the rotating chair of the EU in the second half of 2015, on Monday chaired an meeting of EU interior minister in Brussels who discussed the refugee crisis.

Asselborn warned that the hotspot centres along the EU external borders could not cope with a large influx of migrants. Therefore, establishing processing centres along the other segments of the western Balkan migrant route was on the agenda.

Those centres would likely start processing asylum claims or could also launch the procedure to return people not entitled to protection to their countries of origin. They may be set up both inside and outside the European Union, the Luxembourg minister said, calling for putting an end on the policy of speedy transit of migrants.

The EU ministers agreed on stepping up the redistribution of refugees from reception centres in Italy and Greece having in mind that to date a mere 150 refugees have been relocated from those centres while there is a plan on relocation of 160,00 refugees in the next two years.

(Hina)

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