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Italy tells EU bloc: Accept economic migrants

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FILE PHOTO: Migrants disembark Italian coast guard vessel "Diciotti" in the port of Catania, Italy, June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Italy wants all European Union countries to accept their share of economic migrants entering the bloc, or get less EU money, an Italian proposal prepared for a meeting of some EU leaders on migration showed on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The document, that will be presented to 15 other EU leaders who came to Brussels to seek a way to alleviate high migration concerns in several countries, lists 10 points that Rome believes will solve the problem.

“Each state establishes entry quotas for economic migrants,” the document, seen by Reuters said.

“It is a principle that must be respected, but adequate countermeasures must be provided for funding with respect to states that do not offer welcome to refugees,” it said.

The document makes clear that Italy wants changes to the so-called Dublin regulation, which sets out EU rules for handling asylum seekers and migrants coming to the EU. The rules now say that the country where the asylum seeker enters the EU is responsible for handling his or her asylum request.

“Who arrives in Italy, lands in Europe,” the document said, specifically noting the EU should have joint responsibility for those rescued at sea. It said the EU’s Schengen passport-free travel zone was at stake.

“The rescue obligation cannot become an obligation to process (asylum) requests on everyone’s behalf,” the document said. It also called for the creation of migrant centers in other EU countries, noting this could not be limited to Italy and Spain.

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