They reaffirmed the need to speed up the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement of 18 March and in particular the resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey in the framework of the 1:1 scheme. Member states were also invited to accelerate the relocation of asylum seekers from Greece and Italy, according to the Council decisions of September 2015.
Furthermore, they agreed to continue to monitor closely the possible opening up of new migratory routes, especially the Central Mediterranean, in order to avoid a major crisis.
Klaas Dijkhoff, Minister for Migration of the Netherlands and President of the Council said: “Today we also had our first explorative discussion about the future of the European asylum system. We all agree that the current system does not function and that we need a better system. The status quo cannot stay. Our system needs to progress from a fair weather system to a system that can deal with a sudden high influx. This system should also result in a substantially lower influx than we’ve recently seen.”
Ministers were informed about the progress achieved on the draft regulation on a European Border Guard and stressed the need to begin preparations on the implementation of a number of priority elements, without prejudice to the forthcoming negotiations with the European Parliament.