Wednesday, September 16, 2020

EU chief, set to unveil asylum policy, says migration is a fact of life

 The European Union's chief executive, set to unveil contentious new asylum policies for the bloc next week, described immigration on Wednesday as a normal fact of life and said the continent should learn to manage it.

In a major policy speech to the European Parliament that drew applause and the occasional heckle, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said immigration policy must recognize "that each human being has a solemn diginity".

Since 2015, when more than a million people reached Europe by sea and thousands died trying, migration policy has been a source of quarrel within the bloc.

The numbers of those arriving have fallen sharply since then, but EU members are still divided over how to share the responsibility of hosting them, and far right parties have gained votes across the bloc calling for a harder line.

"Migration has always been a fact for Europe - and it will always be," von der Leyen said. "This is normality. We should be and we have to be able to manage that."...REUTERS

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