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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 10:03 GMT
EU mulls immigration 'contract'
African immigrants detained off the coast of Tenerife
The EU has seen a surge of immigration from Africa
Interior ministers from the European Union's six biggest countries are considering introducing an "integration contract" for immigrants.

The contract would oblige immigrants to respect the EU's values when they take up residence.

The ministers, meeting in Germany, said the idea would be developed by an expert working group.

Tighter citizenship rules in some EU countries have drawn charges that they discriminate against Muslims.

The UK Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, said ministers strongly agreed that people moving to the EU would be expected to respect values such as democracy, free speech and freedom of the media.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the idea was to make clear that "successful integration is always something that presupposes mutual rights and obligations".

The ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain met in the north-eastern German town of Heiligendamm.


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