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Migration has been top of the agenda for the European Union Summit summit, which opened on Thursday. European Union partners, have faced a deluge of thousands of migrants arriving by sea, many fleeing ,persecution, war , violence, terror and also simply economic migrants fleeing poverty mainly across African countries such as Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Nigeria.
European Union (EU) leaders, after marathon deliberations over the unprecedented number of migrant arrivals on European shores that has been seen of late, have finally come to an agreement that is envisaged to alleviate part of the problem, as leaders agreed to relocate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in Italy and Greece by sea this year, whilst at the same time EU leaders agreed to resettle a total of 20,000 refugees who are currently outside the EU.
Of note is the United Kingdom who have chosen to be exempt from the scheme, using one of its exemptions as agreed in the EU Lisbon treaty.
The relocation programme is a wholly voluntary project by participating nations as some nations in eastern Europe refused to accept set out relocation quotas
The Summit chairman Donald Tusk announced that 40,000 migrants will be relocated from where they are and distributed to other European Union (EU) states over the next two years in a willing take up basis as there will be no mandatory quotas for each country.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR, statistics show that this year alone, a total of 63,000 migrants arrived in Greece and 62,000 in Italy by sea, showing the alarming rate of arrivals and the need for a responsive and joint initiative by the EU to resolve the crisis as it will only grow worse if ignored. by Sibusiso Ngwenya.
photo-Commercial vessels on busy Mediterranean routes asked to assist with waves of migrants-wjs