The European Commission is thinking to resettle 50,000 migrants directly from war-ridden countries into Europe. The objective is to stabilize the bloc. The EU executive has already designated €500m to cover the resettlement of refugees from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia with the aim to deter illegal migration and target people-smugglers. “People who are in genuine need of protection should not risk their lives or depend on smugglers,” Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU’s migration commissioner, said. “Europe has to show that it is ready to share responsibility with third countries, notably in Africa,” he added.
This initiative comes directly from the leadership of the EU Commission as Jean-Claude Juncker tries to address the migration crisis and navigate amidst the disagreement over the issue among EU member states. A mandatory relocation scheme that planned to distribute 160,000 migrants within the EU failed since only 29,000 migrants had in fact been relocated. Brussels is also planning to take legal action against Poland and Hungary who are still refusing to accept the quotas.
At the same time, the Commission is also working to maintain the very nature of its passport-free Schengen area, which has come under pressure from the combination of security threats – terrorism and illegal migration. Commissioner Avramopoulos said that starting in November there would be “stricter” demands and requirements when it comes to introducing temporary border checks during times of emergency, limiting the checks to a maximum of three years.
“We propose to prolong the maximum deadline from six months to one year, for the temporary re-introduction of border controls. At the same time, we are adding stronger procedural guarantees, ensuring that such controls remain an exception used only as a measure of last resort,” he said and added that “in the case of long-lasting security threats, an extraordinary possibility for prolonging border controls and internal borders for another two years is added. This can only happen on the basis of a recommendation by the Council.”