The European Commission has proposed giving member states cash incentives for countries which agree to set up reception centres for migrants picked up in the Mediterranean sea.
The Commission has announced plans to give member states which take in Mediterranean migrants as much as £5,300 ($7,000) per migrant, Austrian newspaper Der Standard reports.
The new move comes after populist Interior Minister of Italy Matteo Salvini has closed the country’s borders and ports to both pro-migrant NGOs and other vessels bringing in individuals from the North African coast.
The new Commission plan will see the creation of EU-funded asylum reception centres which will work in conjunction with existing asylum infrastructure in member states but is intended to be able to speed up the process of determining whether or not a migrant has a rightful asylum claim within the political bloc.
Austria Refuses to Take More Boat Migrants After Ship of 450 Arrives in Europe https://t.co/fERd4q47yX
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The £5,300 sum would come if the member states transferred asylum seekers out of the EU reception facilities into their own systems.
Hundreds of millions of euros are expected to be made available to finance the project though no exact figures have yet to be published.
“Now more than ever, we need common European solutions to the migration issue and we are ready to help member States and third countries to better cooperate in disembarking those who have been rescued in the sea,” said EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Commenting on the proposal, EU diplomats said that the goal was to end the so-called “pull factor” that encourages more and more migrants to pay people smugglers and attempt the journey to Europe from countries like Libya.
The EU border agency Frontex has previously accused the migrant transport NGOs operating off the coast of Libya as acting as a “pull factor” while Italian prosecutors have gone further and accused them of working directly with the people smugglers.