EU leaders discussed the issue of migration. They took stock of the implementation of the decisions they had agreed at the June European Council and called for work to be continued on all elements.
The European Council stressed the need to further prevent illegal migration. It called for strengthened cooperation with countries of origin and transit, particularly in North Africa, as part of a broader partnership.
Leaders called for the fight against migrant smugglers to be stepped up by:
- cooperating more with countries outside the EU
- creating a joint task force at Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre
- better monitoring and disrupting smugglers’ online communications
EU leaders invited the Council to develop a set of measures to this end by December.
They also invited the European Parliament and the Council to examine, as a matter of priority, the recent Commission proposals on the return directive, the asylum agency and the European border and coast guard.
The EU’s return policy was also discussed. The leaders said that more should be done to facilitate effective returns. Existing readmission agreements should be better implemented and new agreements and arrangements concluded.
EU leaders were briefed by the Austrian Council presidency on the reform of the EU asylum system and on the prospects for progress. They encouraged the presidency to continue its work in order to conclude it as soon as possible.
Source: European Council, 18/10/2018