Since the beginning of the evacuation of Afghan citizens after the fall of the country to the Taliban, the question of the influx of these refugees and their resettlement has been part of much speech. Today, European Commissioner Margaritis Schinas said that the situation in Afghanistan and the events associated with it could pave the way for the formation of a common migration policy.
Speaking to Austrian daily Wiener Zeitung, Schinas said: “It is true that we are now in a major crisis, but the European Union (EU) did not cause the situation, but we are once again called to be part of a solution. . “
He also said he wanted to “avoid a reflex” which brings Europe back to the year of crisis 2015 “even before it is clear how the situation will develop”.
Following the re-emergence of the Taliban, several thousand Afghans were expelled from their country of origin either to neighboring Asian countries, or to the United States and Europe. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said up to 500,000 Afghans could escape by the end of the year. Meanwhile, many countries, including Russia, Austria and Greece, among others, have directly or indirectly rejected the idea of hosting Afghan migrants, even as Europe is still recovering from the enormous influx of refugees after the 2015 Syrian war.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz reiterated his decision not to welcome migrants, saying that a possible Afghan wave in Europe must not take place. This comes after his stance against welcoming Afghans because the European nation has hosted a “disproportionately high” number since 2015, when a million people entered Europe from Asia, Africa and the Middle. -East.
In the interview, Schinas said the EU was better prepared this time around, with enhanced external border protection and financial resources to help Afghanistan’s neighbors, as the policies of EU states “converged more and more “.
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“Therefore, I see now as the time to agree on a common European policy on migration and asylum, as we proposed to the European Commission in September,” he said. in Zeitung, according to Reuters.
The EU commissioner further said that migration had long thwarted unity among the 27 members of the EU, with strong resistance to an agreement among “right-wing and left-wing populists”. However, he added that he saw a window for a solution after the French presidential elections in May 2022 – when Germany would also have a new waiver of power.
The EU, on the other hand, has launched a plan to spend 300 million euros ($ 355 million) to resettle nearly 30,000 Afghan refugees inside the bloc to avoid a migration crisis. According to a diplomatic note – seen by Bloomberg, the European Commission made the proposal to EU ambassadors at a meeting on August 26. Additional funds for relocation purposes may also be made available, the Commission added according to Bloomberg.
The EU held another meeting on August 31 – regarding the resettlement of Afghans and the situation in Afghanistan. Following the meeting, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson informed on Twitter that she would “convene a high-level resettlement forum” in September to “discuss concrete priorities with member states and provide solutions sustainable “to the most vulnerable Afghans. , like women and children.