EU migration deal opens door to detention of minors, Flemish Greens warn

Belgian MP Eva Platteau says it is "hard to digest" that the EU migration deal "leaves the door open for minors to be detained in other member states". "We are very concerned about the practical effect of the border procedure in the border countries," she said on Friday.

European asylum and migration ministers agreed on Thursday in Luxembourg on changes to Europe's asylum and migration policy. These include a compulsory but flexible solidarity mechanism to better distribute asylum seekers across the EU and a new procedure at external borders to assess certain asylum applications and return rejected asylum seekers more quickly. 

Platteau, of the Flemish green party Groen, shares the fears of Flemish NGO Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, which says the migration deal allows families with children to be detained in large, fenced-off camps at Europe's external borders. "The principle that has been discussed leaves a bitter taste. It is hard for us to digest that the door is left open for minors to be detained in other member states."

She points out that the Belgian federal government has agreed not to hold minors in detention centres, "and our country will abide by this". But she is "very concerned about the practical effect of the border procedure in the border countries".

The agreement between European ministers, which consists of two legal texts, is not final. Member states still have to consult the European Parliament. Groen is waiting for the final texts before it makes an assessment, Platteau said.


#FlandersNewsService | Minors inside the Fylakion detention camp in northern Greece in 2018 © PHOTO MESSINIS / AFP

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