France and Spain test waters on immigration policy

France and Spain test waters on immigration policy
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With the rest of the EU an interested onlooker France and Spain have made progress on a common immigration policy, but fell short of completing a deal. France has made immigration a top priority during its forthcoming presidency of the EU and yesterday’s talks were seen as testing the ground for wider agreement.

After meeting his French counterpart Francois Fillon in Zaragosa Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said important progress had been made on cooperation between the governments. But there was still work to do, he said, adding agreement would be achieved in the short term.

France wants to harmonise immigration policy across the EU and Spain broadly agrees with this aim. But Paris’s proposal of an ‘integration contract’ which immigrants would have to sign was a sticking point for Spain. It is thought it may now have been deleted from the text.

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