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Europe’s ‘Big Four’ Partake in Paris Summit on Migration, Africa | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Migrants and refugees arrive on a dinghy after crossing from Turkey to Lesbos island, Greece, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, AP

Paris- France’s President Emmanuel Macron said that the Paris summit on Monday will focus on seeking concrete action on getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control.

Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations participated in the migrant crisis summit.
Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests.

According to Reuters, the meeting hosts the leaders of Germany, Italy and Spain as well as the leaders of Chad, Niger and Libya – all three of them transit countries for migrants. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will also attend.

The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states.

As for the Africa hotspots, the viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday an official from the Elysee Palace said the idea was no longer under discussion.

“The hotspots announcement was nonsense and neither Chad nor Niger were consulted beforehand,” a West African official said. “Macron is trying to make up for that mistake.”

Leaders at the meeting will seek accord on a migration action plan, notably on tackling the economic model of people traffickers. “The leaders will be presented a roadmap that outlines … what we want to do to tackle all stages of the migrant route,” the Elysee official told reporters.

The Elysee official said the roadmap would include ideas on fighting people traffickers, asylum rights and stabilizing chaotic Libya, where thousands of migrants end up before embarking on a perilous Mediterranean sea journey to Europe.