European Commission 'is shooting itself in the foot' with new asylum proposals

27 September 2017

European Commission 'is shooting itself in the foot' with new asylum proposals

The European Commission today presented its new proposals for a 'more effective and fairer EU policy' on asylum and migration. According to SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, the various different plans work against each other. “On the one hand they're at last making efforts to develop a more effective and humane returns policy, something that's essential for the maintenance of sufficient popular support for the reception of refugees in their neighbourhoods. There's also more going to be invested in resettlement in the refugees' own regions and in development in Africa,” said De Jong. “But at the same time the Commission is opening the door wide to economic migrants – this serves the interests of no-one except employers looking for cheap labour. With these proposals the Commission is shooting itself in the foot.”

At the same time as they presented their refugee resettlement plans they also announced their proposals for legal economic migration. In addition to the European Blue Card it will also become possible for the private sector to sponsor migrants and bring them to the EU, something about which De Jong is not happy. “If we are going to offer work suitable for poorly-educated people to migrants from outside the EU, this will only create more tensions,” he says. “Nobody want to see that. The employers will love it, but as far as I'm concerned this proposal should be binned.”

The European Commission wants member states in the next two years to resettle on their own territory at least 50,000 UN-designated refugees from the camps. The Commission hopes therefore to tempt the member states with money. “The question is whether this is the solution,” observes De Jong. “Will east European countries be willing now to take people in if they get 10,000 euros per refugee? And what about the many refugees who have the strength and the means to travel to Europe rather than a camp, or to take a boat? They probably won't come under the criteria for resettlement and so will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. So the implementation of our plan, which we recently presented to Commissioner Timmermans, for European centres for asylum seekers on the EU's external borders, remains urgently necessary.” 

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