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The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited Stockholm on Tuesday for a meeting with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (S), ahead of the European Council next week. A battle is being fought on asylum policy and Löfven was pessimistic after the meeting with Tusk, Sveriges Radio reports. Sweden has long sought a fairer distribution of asylum seekers within the EU. But despite long attempts to reach a deal, it has not been possible. “To be honest, the possibility of reaching a deal does not look good,” said Löfven following the meeting with Tusk.
Svenska Dagbladet writes that Löfven does not exclude the idea of refugee camps outside the EU. These camps, which may for example be located in North Africa or Albania, would handle asylum requests before refugees enter the EU. The hope is that this would decrease the amount of people embarking on dangerous over-sea crossings of the Mediterranean. Löfven says the suggestion needs to be considered. “We have to review it. It must fundamentally be a human, worthy treatment of all people. This also applies to refugees, that is our starting point,” says Löfven.
The Moderate Party has launched a similar proposal on asylum centres outside the EU, and believes that what is now being discussed in Brussels is a step in the right direction. However, Tobias Billström, group leader of the Moderate Party in the Riksdag, does not believe there will be a comprehensive agreement of asylum policy at the summit next week: “It is obvious that the EU will not solve Sweden’s problems,” he says.