Austria and Italy suggest to hold migrants on ships

The interior ministers of Austria and Italy have suggested that migrants rescued at sea should be held on ships for days while their chances of obtaining asylum in the European Union are assessed.

The two ministers made the proposal at a joint press conference in Vienna, Austria on 14 September, Reuters reported, during a conference on migration between the EU and several African countries.

“For those who manage to make it into a European state’s territorial waters and are then picked up by a ship, we should use the ships to carry out the appropriate checks on whether they deserve protection,” Austrian interior minister Herbert Kickl told journalists.

The governments of both Italy and Austria have criticized current asylum procedures in the EU and are advocating for tougher asylum policies.

The new proposal is seen an alternative to the “regional disembarkation platforms” scheme suggested earlier by the EU, whereby migrant asylum applications would be processed in third countries.

According to the joint Italian-Austrian proposal, the screening “should last a few days” and those who are deemed to have no chance of asylum would then be denied access to Europe.

Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini, said he was “absolutely in favor” of the proposal to hold migrants at sea.

TMP – 03/10/2018

Caption: According to the new proposal after screening the chances of obtaining asylum, migrants deemed to have no chance will be denied access to Europe.