The European Commission has unveiled plans to replicate Turkey-type deals on stemming the flow of migrants with Middle East and African states.
The EU Commission wants to punish countries in Africa and the Middle East if they do not cooperate and refuse to take back refugees. Countries that agreed to help stop people going to Europe will be rewarded.
The combination of carrot and stick must ensure that refugees no longer risk their lives by crossing the Mediterranean to Europe in search of safety and a better life, because they know they can still be returned.
In March, the EU made similar arrangements with Turkey, in which that country undertook steps to stop the refugees flow into the EU. In return, Turkey received billions in financial support from the EU. The EU want now to make similar agreements with countries in the Middle East and Africa, Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans told MEPs in Strasbourg.
The EU is to focus on what it called “compacts” with Ethiopia, Lebanon, Jordan, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
The agreements will not be legally binding and each one will be negotiated separately, EU sources said.