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EU Reaches Agreement on Plan to Share Migrants

World  (tags: Refugees crisis, refugees, Eu, Syria, Iraq, HumanRights, freedoms, corruption, crime, conflict, ethics, death, GoodNews, Refugees&Relief, war, world )

- 1151 days ago -
120,000 genuine refugees will be allowed to settle in one of the 27 EU countries at last some kind of accord has been reached. See 1st comment for full text


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Roger G (148)
Tuesday September 22, 2015, 10:23 am
Updated Sept. 22, 2015 1:17 p.m. ET
BRUSSELS—The European Union agreed by a strong majority Tuesday on a mandatory plan to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers across the continent over the next two years, the centerpiece of its efforts to better respond to the biggest influx of migrants since after the end of World War II.

Four governments—Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania—opposed the proposal, possibly setting the stage for intensified friction within the bloc over the contentious issue. Finland abstained.

“We would have preferred to have adoption by consensus but we were not able to achieve that. And it is not for want of trying I dare say,” said Jean Asselborn, foreign and interior minister from Luxembourg, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

He said that despite the divisions, the bloc would have been more damaged if it hadn’t been able to sign off the relocation proposal on Tuesday.

“If we had not done this, Europe would have been even more divided and its credibility even more undermined,” he said.

Even after weeks of debate, the plan shares the burden for taking in only a fraction of the total number of asylum seekers who have come into the bloc so far in 2015—a total that already surpasses 500,000, according to official data. Many of the migrants are transiting overwhelmed countries on the bloc’s edges trying to reach Germany, deepening rifts among some members as they try to deal with the flow.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said EU countries now needed to work on how to stem the tide, including by working with countries in crisis regions.

“What we decided here today is an important building block, but not more,” he said.

Germany and France had pushed hard for a burden-sharing program for the migration influx in recent weeks. However the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other Central and Eastern countries pushed back.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has been particularly opposed to the plan, saying it would encourage more migration and that Europe’s culture would be diluted by allowing more Muslims to settle.

Under the plan, some 66,000 asylum seekers will be relocated from Italy and Greece to other EU member states in coming months. That leaves a reserve of 54,000 people who could be relocated from other countries if they experience a sudden influx of migrants and appeal for help.

The interior ministers of Austria and Germany, which have seen large inflows of refugees, said their countries may benefit from the leftover contingent, but that no decision has been taken yet.

After one year however, Italy and Greece will be reallocated the remainder of this reserve—meaning Athens and Rome will be able to send additional numbers of asylum seekers elsewhere in the EU.

The plan will be mandatory for all EU member states except the three who have a partial opt-out from EU migration rules. the U.K., Ireland and Denmark, officials said. That means that even countries that opposed the decision will have to take in asylum seekers if they are allocated migrants.

To assuage concerns from some Central and Eastern European member states, EU governments may seek a one-year delay for taking in up to 30% of the asylum seekers they are allocated. That could be extended by a second year if other member states and the European Commission, the EU’s executive, agree.

Ireland said it would participate in the plan despite its opt-out. Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, which aren't in the EU, are also taking part.

Mr. Asselborn said the relocation program can be put in place very quickly. Ireland’s Justice Minister had said her country could start receiving asylum seekers from Italy and Greece within weeks.

Under the plan, Germany will take in some 31,000 refugees, Mr. de Maizière said. He also stressed that refugees that have been relocated had to stay in their designated countries. Refugees who seek protection elsewhere will be returned immediately, he said.

Earlier proposals to make countries that refuse to take in refugees pay penalties were taken out of the final agreement. “There cannot be a trade: money in return for refugees,” he said.

Tuesday’s decision removes one contentious issue ahead of a summit of EU leaders on Wednesday on migration. But it will still include a packed agenda and could see the first real responses from the governments in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic to being forced into the plan.

The Hungarian and Slovak leaders in particular have lambasted Brussels and Berlin over their handling of the migration crisis, with Mr. Orban starkly pinning the blame for the worsening of the crisis earlier this month on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

EU leaders will consider ways of working better with the likes of Turkey, speeding up the return of some migrants to their home countries and proposals to improve border security.

—Valentina Pop in Brussels contributed to this article.

David C (108)
Tuesday September 22, 2015, 10:24 am

Antiope K (0)
Tuesday September 22, 2015, 12:08 pm
Thanks for sharing, Roger.

Lone F (65)
Tuesday September 22, 2015, 1:59 pm
Thanks for this update dear Roger

Animae C (507)
Tuesday September 22, 2015, 4:05 pm
Thanx Roger

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 22, 2015, 5:41 pm
Good to know te load will be shared--finally. Tho i fear Europe will never be the same again+actually be pretty scary to visit in some cases. thx Roger

Maggie D (69)
Tuesday September 22, 2015, 7:21 pm
Europe will never be the same. This is the beginning of the worldwide caliphate that the Muslims have repeatedly said they were going to create. I hope I'm being an alarmist but.....

Elena M (142)
Wednesday September 23, 2015, 5:22 am
Msggie you are right. I have a friend in Germany. She immigrated there after collapse of Soviet Union because she is an ethnic German. We are in touch. She told me long time ago about troubles caused by migrants from muslim countries. Now, Germans and other Europeans in their town are afraid to let their children, especially girls teenagers to walk on the streets without adult supervision. Seeveral young women and girls-teenagers were assaulted by those poor regugees. The daughter of my friend has a bruise on her back as a result of a stone throwed at her by muslim man. The reason- short dresses, shorts or dresses with exposed shoulders. They demand from locals to wear "clothes that don't insult their Muslim religion". How do you like it?! I think they have no rights to demand anything! They should be thankful for help and thei right to stay in Germany. If they don't like clothes of local population- they should go back to their country or to any other muslim countries, but they have no right to tell European women what to wear. No surprise that locals are not very happy about such type of guests.

Past Member (0)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 12:01 pm
Thanks, noted

Tracy Riley (54)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 12:25 pm

Birgit W (160)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 2:12 pm
Every European state should share the refugees, and other countries too. A special "Thank you" to Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, which aren't in the EU for helping out too.

marie C (163)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 3:40 pm
It will take many years to turn Europe multicultural if ever
Also England a few cities mainly London pretends to be multicultural but always looks and snide comments between Brits that has been going on forever and it is getting worse we are very two faced

marie C (163)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 3:41 pm
Thanks Rger for sharing

Past Member (0)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 3:45 pm
In China I trust :)
Thank you Roger :)

Janet B (0)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 6:02 pm

Walter F (129)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 6:34 pm
Thanks Roger,I'.m afraid Europe will experience more interesting times in future years

Past Member (0)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 7:01 pm
Noted. Thanks Roger.

Stan B (123)
Thursday September 24, 2015, 10:27 pm
The E U should not be a party to the Islamisation of Europe.
Most of these people will never assimilate. Their religion forbids it.

Past Member (0)
Friday September 25, 2015, 9:30 pm
Europe can kiss itself goodbye. The politically correct half-wits have succeeded in their quest to destroy Europe, Christians and anything white. Good job!


LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Monday March 14, 2016, 2:38 am
Well, Stan & Sherri can celebrate! No one has posted on it, but, according to Amnesty International whom I celebrate daily, "EU Turkey Summit: EU and Turkish leaders deal death blow to the right to seek asylum,"

Excerpt (1)
“The idea of bartering refugees for refugees is not only dangerously dehumanising, but also offers no sustainable long term solution to the ongoing humanitarian crisis”

Iverna McGowan, Head of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office

Excerpt (2):
"When questioned on the legality of this proposal under international law, EU leaders responded that this would be possible under EU law once Turkey be designated as a ‘safe country’.

Amnesty International strongly contests the concept of a ‘safe third country’ in general, as this undermines the individual right to have asylum claims fully and fairly processed and may result in individuals being subsequently deported to their country of origin - in violation of the principle of non-refoulement. In the case of Turkey in particular, there is huge cause for concern given the current situation and treatment of migrants and refugees.

“Turkey has forcibly returned refugees to Syria and many refugees in the country live in desperate conditions without adequate housing. Hundreds of thousands of refugee children cannot access formal education. By no stretch of imagination can Turkey be considered a ‘safe third country’ that the EU can cosily outsource its obligations to,” she added.

Although it was claimed that those needing international protection that are not Syrian would not be returned to Turkey, it has not been made clear how those individual rights could be guaranteed in the context of a system of mass returns. The reality is that not all asylum seekers are coming from Syria, and Turkey does not have a fully functioning asylum system.

The proposal makes a mockery of the EU’s obligation to provide access to asylum at its borders. Any returns system not built on the principle of an individual’s right to access a fair and robust asylum process is deeply problematic.

“Iraqi and Afghan nationals, along with Syrians, make up around 90 percent of arrivals to Greece. Sending them back to Turkey knowing their strong claim to international protection will most likely never be heard reveals EU claims to respect refugees’ human rights as hollow words,” said Iverna McGowan.
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