"France is not the country of first entry [to the EU]. Some tried to push us toward this, but I refuse because we should not review our principles and work methods again and again," Macron told a press conference at the end of a two-day European Council meeting in Brussels.

The French leader stressed that rescue at sea is the responsibility of the country closest to those in need of aid.

However, he said the EU could share the responsibility for the centers, similar to the center on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Macron is behind the decision adopted by the EU's 28 leaders to create such processing centers -- on a voluntary basis -- in the countries where migrants arrive first: in Italy, Spain, and Greece.

The 28 leaders agreed to consider setting up “disembarkation platforms” outside the bloc, most likely in north Africa, in a bid to stem migrants and refugee influx.

Anadolu Agency