Just 3 EU Countries Ready to Assist Bulgaria with Refugee Wave
Only three countries in Europe, Austria, the Czech Republic and Great Britain, have voiced readiness to help Bulgaria with the growing refugee problem by providing immediate assistance.
The Interior Ministers of the three countries have declared the above in a response to a letter sent by Bulgarian counterpart, Tsvetlin Yovchev, to all of his EU colleagues.
The information has been reported by Yovchev, himself, at the Salzburg Forum's Ministerial Conference in Bucharest, as sited by the Bulgarian Dnevnik.bg.
The Bulgarian Interior Minister has urged for the establishment of a common European system for refugees to include common rules and procedures for granting asylum, processing of documents, accommodating people, and common polices.
He has voiced another own idea – the implementation of the so-called intelligent borders – common information and process management system where all European countries must share resources.
Bulgaria has the capacity to accommodate about 5 000, while over 6 500 refugees have arrived in the country since the beginning of 2013, with local authorities expecting the number to exceed 11 000 by the end of the year.
The total capacity of 3 740 in the shelters under the authority of the Interior Ministry and the State Agency for Refugees has been exceeded by 207 beds. The Agency is working on easing the red tape and shortening the procedure to grant asylum status of foreigners in Bulgaria.
Security at border has been upped by border police from other parts of the country. Additional staff to process documents has been sent as well. The country is also considering building a wire fence on the Turkish border.
Bulgaria is the gateway to the European Union for refugees fleeing Syria via Turkey, many crossing the border illegally to seek asylum.
The country has asked for EU aid in order to deal with the ongoing refugee influx.
The Salzburg Forum was established in July 2000, at Austria's initiative, and currently gathers Interior Ministers of Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia. It was created as a cooperation mechanism among the states of Central Europe, being enlarged, in 2005, to Romania and Bulgaria.
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