EU to Encourage its Members to Accept Refugees

Written by | Friday, December 6th, 2013

The European Commission has decided to propose to pay EU member countries 6,000 euros for each refugee registered at the United Nations (UN), which it agreed to resettle. This proposal was made public yesterday, and constitutes a part of the whole aid package targeting refugees, who often die on border crossings or are exploited by traffickers. In particular, this project focuses on Syria, where already more than 2 million people are registered as refugees, who are forced to live in overcrowded camps in the neighboring countries. The EU resettled only 5,000 refugees last year, while the US did resettle 10 times more.
EU home affairs commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, said that the EU proposal to pay its members 6,000 euro was the only most efficient short-term measure that EU countries could do to help refugees, and especially help them avoid humiliating conditions that they have to face. The EU announced also other measures, such as financial support of 400,000 euro for the Europol to help it target human traffickers and smugglers. Moreover, Brussels is going to provide Italy with 30 million euros and other member states with 20 million euros to enhance conditions for asylum seekers. Moreover, the border control agency, Frontex, needs extra 14 million EUR to co-ordinate sea patrols. The agency claimed that the money should be used to expand existing operations in Greece and Italy only.
In the midst of struggle to help refugees and asylums seekers, a number of difficult questions loom over the EU officials. For instance, it is not clear which member country will accept refugees rescued by Frontex at sea patrols. Commission’s decision from April this year stated that whichever EU member country will host a Frontex operation, it should also accept refugees involved. Yet, Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece, France, and Cyprus claim that migrants should be simply taken to the nearest port. To that end, official sources in Malta commented that the EU measures on who will take migrants make no sense.

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