Following the call by EU leaders at the June European Council, the Commission is today expanding on the concept of controlled centres as well as short-term measures that could be taken to improve the processing of migrants being disembarked in the EU, and giving a first outline of the possible way forward for the establishment of regional disembarkation arrangements with third countries. Regional disembarkation arrangements should be seen as working in concert with the development of controlled centres in the EU: together, both concepts should help ensure a truly shared regional responsibility in responding to complex migration challenges.
To improve the orderly and effective processing of those disembarked in the European Union, EU leaders have called for the establishment of 'controlled centres' in the EU. The primary aim would be to improve the process of distinguishing between individuals in need of international protection, and irregular migrants with no right to remain in the EU, while speeding up returns. The centres would be managed by the host Member State with full support from the EU and EU Agencies and could have a temporary or ad-hoc nature depending on the location.
In addition to the establishment of controlled centres, EU leaders have called on the Commission to explore the concept of regional disembarkation arrangements in close cooperation with IOM and UNHCR and in partnership with third countries. The objective of regional disembarkation arrangements is to provide quick and safe disembarkation on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea of rescued people in line with international law, including the principle of non-refoulement, and a responsible post-disembarkation process.