At an emergency meeting in Brussels on 25 November, European Union (EU) home affairs ministers approved a 20-point emergency plan to improve solidarity on migration between the EU-27.
Proposed by the European Commission, the action plan sets out 20 measures, including strengthening cooperation with countries such as Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt to prevent departures and increase returns of irregular migrants.
The plan also provides for better coordination and exchange of information between states and NGOs rescuing migrants at sea, and intends to “promote discussions within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on guidelines for vessels carrying out rescue operations at sea.”
The new text also aims to relaunch a temporary European solidarity mechanism proposed last June by France, which held the EU Council Presidency at the time. Twelve Member States committed themselves to receiving 8,000 asylum seekers who arrived on the Italian, Maltese, and Spanish coasts over one year.