Migrant deal struck as Greece, Germany, Spain agree on returns, Dora Antoniou

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Since the new government took over, Italy has refused to let several migrant rescue boats dock at Italian ports, reopening European Union divisions.

The leaders also agreed that some European countries would establish centers within their own borders to process migrants seeking asylum after their arrived in the continent.

In a compromise, the European Union countries agreed to set up joint asylum processing sites and restrict migrants' moves with the bloc. Instead EU leaders have chosen to pander to xenophobic governments who are hellbent on keeping Europe closed, and to push even more responsibility onto countries outside the EU.

The EU statement gave no detail on what form the centres would take, where they would go, or potentially how much they would cost.

"On EU territory, those who are saved, according to global law, should be taken charge of, on the basis of a shared effort, through the transfer in controlled centers set up in Member States, only on a voluntary basis", read the 10-page statement that also encompassed security and defense.

But the political tremors are still being felt across Europe, with populist, anti-immigrant parties on the rise in many countries.

The government in Ankara was paid more than 3 billion euros in refugee aid to stop people leaving for the Greek islands.

In recent weeks, Italy has refused to receive any additional migrants, turning back to rescue ships with several hundred refugees each.

While the specific proposals will need to be fleshed out, agreement on the outline of a deal may also help to preserve the tenure of Germany's Angela Merkel, who has been facing a rebellion on migration by members of her governing coaltion that threatens her chancellorship.

Italy's new prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, put a positive spin on Thursday's meeting, saying, "Italy is not alone anymore".

"EU28 leaders have agreed on (summit) conclusions, including on migration", the European Council president Donald Tusk said.

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"We want to continue to reduce the number of migrants coming to Germany", she said.

As France24 notes, "Italy's stance has revived political tensions in the European Union. and sparked warnings that authoritarian movements will take advantage of any failure to tackle migration".

The idea echoes discussions elsewhere in the developed world, including in the United States, on how to outsource the contentious asylum process and cut down on the flow of arrivals.

Option one is a regional arrangement among member states on disembarkation in one of them, where rescued migrants would acquire a right to apply for asylum.

The Prime Minister is expected to meet key players in Europe in an effort to boost support for the White Paper, with Germany's Angela Merkel confirming she was expecting a visit from Mrs May.

France's President Emmanuel Macron (left) and Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz speak to journalists during the last day of the European Union leaders' summit, to discuss Brexit and eurozone reforms, June 29, 2018, in Brussels.

"We took the view that we needed to have a degree of burden-sharing, on the transfer of migrants to countries, and Ireland has already agreed to accept some from that as well".

"It really is this engineered panic", Judith Sunderland, an associate director at Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia division, said.

Quotas: An agreement to hammer out deals on the controversial refugee quotas.

For years Europe's most powerful leader, Merkel risks seeing her fragile coalition collapse if she can not reach deals with Italy and other countries to stop migrants initially arriving in those countries from moving on to Germany.