• France's news in English

EU ministers to hold migrant talks: France

AFP · 21 Aug 2015, 08:47

Published: 21 Aug 2015 08:47 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The meeting, to be followed by further talks in Berlin, will pave the way for broader discussions at an EU summit in Malta in November which will also be attended by African leaders, Cazeneuve said after talks with his German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere in the German capital.

De Maiziere said it was "unacceptable that European institutions continue to work at their current slow pace" in finding a joint solution to the crisis, adding that "too little" was being done to implement decisions that have already been taken.

EU border agency Frontex reported on Tuesday that a record 107,000 migrants were massed at the bloc's borders last month, as the continent faces its biggest migration crisis since World War II.

De Maiziere said he hoped new centres set up to determine whether new arrivals are refugees fleeing war, or economic migrants simply looking for work, would be operational by the end of the year in Greece and Italy, the countries bearing the brunt of the crisis.

Cazeneuve, meanwhile, called for a "harmonisation" of asylum laws in Europe and the creation of "a list of safe countries of origin at the European level" to make it easier to send home asylum-seekers whose countries are considered at peace.

He also urged a "deepening of cooperation among police and intelligence services" along the lines of a deal agreed Thursday between France and Britain to combat people smuggling at Calais.

European leaders are expected to use the Malta summit to encourage their African counterparts to do more to stem the flow of migrants heading across the Mediterranean in rickety boats in search of a better life in Europe.

They will also seek assurances that African countries will actually implement agreements signed with European countries to take back migrants who have been denied leave to remain in the EU.

De Maiziere expressed hope that the European Commission will be able to move forward with agreements allowing rejected asylum-seekers to return to their home countries "without fear of persecution".

Story continues below…

Cazeneuve added that this will require "discussions with the countries of origin".

The two foreign ministers also discussed Ukraine, Cazeneuve said, adding that they prepared new initiatives on the conflict that will be presented to European institutions.

The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine held telephone discussions Thursday, with all sides calling for the full implementation of a ceasefire deal, according to the French presidency.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available