The goal is to lighten the load of people taken on by Greece and Italy. As a first step, refugees from Eritrea, in Italy, will be moved to Sweden.
EU Commissioner on Humanitarian Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, and Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano will be joining the refugees heading to Rome’s Ciampino airport.
Following the trip to Ciampino airport, Avramopoulos and Asselborn will visit a welcome centre on the island of Lampedusa. The EU was able to decide on the relocation of 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy after long discussions.
On Thursday, EU Interior Ministers met in Luxembourg to also decide on the faster repatriation of people, who have had their asylum applications rejected. Asselborn said that it is necessary to protect those that actually need help. He added that those that do not need help need to be returned to their countries of origin. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had a similar stance saying that deportation is difficult but that is how things are.
Interior Ministers also decided that 700 staff members should be sent to Greece and Italy to support local authorities at welcome refugees. Deportations are meant to deter people from migrating illegally, the EU ministers said at the end of their meeting.
Ministers also discussed the possibility of creating a European Border Guard and the giving financial support to the Asian and African countries refugees come from, in order to make the repatriation process easier.
Juncker: The crisis will last for a few years
EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker took the stance that the migrant problem could last for a few years saying that he had no doubt in that. Juncker’s position that Turkey could be included on the list of “safe countries” caused a stir in the meeting.
According to AFP, sources said that some countries do not want Turkey to be included on the list of safe countries.
On Twitter, Juncker said that Turkey is a safe country because it is a candidate country for the EU.
Source: Radio Proto