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EU Presents New 10-Point Migration Action Plan Amid Mediterranean Tragedy

© AP Photo / Alessandra TarantinoA migrant is helped disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, early Monday, April 20, 2015
A migrant is helped disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, early Monday, April 20, 2015 - Sputnik International
Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Avramopoulos presented Monday a 10-point action plan on migration.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos presented Monday a 10-point action plan on migration at a joint meeting of Foreign and Interior EU Ministers.

The meeting comes a day after a boat reported to be carrying up to 700 migrants from Libya capsized and sank in the Mediterranean. Only 28 people have been rescued.

“The 10 actions we have agreed upon today are the direct, substantial measures we will take to make an immediate difference,” the commissioner said as quoted in the European Commission's press release.

According to the plan, the EU will reinforce its Joint Operations in the Mediterranean both financially and geographically, take additional measures against smugglers, and will improve asylum application processing.

The plan stipulates migrant fingerprinting, emergency relocating mechanisms and a new return program.

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The European Union wants to engage with the countries surrounding Libya and deploy officers in key third countries to gather intelligence data on migratory flows.

The European Commission said that the plan gained full support by ministers and will be considered at the extraordinary European Council meetings on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that avoiding migrant death in the Mediterranean is a moral obligation of the European Union.

The Mediterranean is one of the main routes for migrants fleeing conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. The United Nations estimates that at least 3,500 people died crossing the sea in 2014. The recent capsize could drive up the current death toll for 2015 to about 1,600.

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