June 22, 2018 / 3:59 PM / a month ago

U.N. refugee agency chief urges Europe to unite on asylum, migration

GENEVA (Reuters) - United Nations refugee agency chief Filippo Grandi called on the European Union (EU) on Friday to “find a new and united approach” to migration and asylum, saying it was achievable.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi attends an interview with Reuters at the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Grandi, in a statement issued ahead of an EU summit at the end of next week, said that guarantees were needed so that people in distress at sea are rescued and taken ashore in a predictable way. Europe is no longer caught in the crux of a large Mediterranean migrant influx, as in 2015, he said.

“Today I am urging European states to seize this opportunity to find a new and united approach that answers the shared needs of all countries to be able to manage their borders and their migration policies, in a way that simultaneously upholds the European and international asylum standards that emerged from the Second World War,” he said.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Mark Heinrich

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