Luxembourg is among five EU member states that has agreed to receive migrants who were rescued by the German charity rescue boat Eleonore.
According to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Luxembourg joined Germany, France, Ireland and Portugal in pledging to receive the migrants after intense discussions between EU member states to find a solution.
The boat, which is owned by German NGO Mission Lifeline, docked in Sicily on Monday in breach of a ban by the Italian government, which seized the ship. It had been at sea for eight days and was forced to dock because of “deteriorating humanitarian conditions”.
The EU is expected to organise a special meeting on the voluntary distribution mechanism of the migrants before the end of September. Italy has increased its heavy-handed stance against rescue boats off its coastline, seizing and fining boats for breaching migration laws. The Luxembourg government had not commented on the matter at the time of publishing.
According to the International Organization for Migration, by 3 April 2019 12,174 migrants had crossed the Mediterranean since the start of the year. A further 356 died. Of those numbers, arrivals by sea to Italy totaled 532 compared to 5,600 in Spain, and 5,621 in Greece.