Bulgaria Does Not Need Additional Monitoring by EC over Refugees - MEP
Socialist MEP Ivaylo Kalfin has insisted that that there is no need for the European Commission to place Bulgaria under a new monitoring mechanism due to the refugee problem
In a Sunday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), Kalfin declared that the crisis resulting from a spike in refugee numbers had been overcome.
He added that Bulgaria was not the only country experiencing increased migratory pressure and the plans to launch an additional crisis management mechanism made him thing that there was bias on the part of the EC.
Kalfin's statement came in response to an announcement by Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malstrom on Wednesday that the EC was considering applying an early warning crisis management mechanism adopted last year through the changes to the Dublin II Regulation due to a number of serious problems detected in Bulgaria.
"This is a mechanism which is too cumbersome and it is not suitable for this current situation. There is no crisis in Bulgaria at the moment. The number of refugees is ten times the amount Bulgaria normally takes (1000 – 1500), at over 11 000. A large number of them arrived in a period of 3 months and at that point there was very strong pressure. Any country would have experienced difficulties in such a situation. However, this period has passed and now the situation is under control," Kalfin stated.
He underscored that Bulgaria had to request a number of things from EU institutions.
"We should request several things from the EU and we have requested them. The first is a much more active policy towards Turkey as regards the ratification of the readmission agreement. It has been signed but Turkey has not ratified it and refuses to apply it. Secondly, it is financial aid. Thirdly, it is a commitment to resettle a part of the people who were granted refugee status. It is not normal to have these small quotas with such big countries in Western Europe" the S&D MEP noted.
Kalfin went on to say that the EU aid for coping with the refugee influx had only arrived a few days ago and that Bulgaria had been using its own financial resources so far.
"The introduction of such a mechanism on Bulgaria would yet again cast doubt over Bulgaria's ability to handle its responsibilities as an EU Member State, including the management of its borders and the security of the external borders. Bulgaria is hardly likely to join the Schengen Area if its border is under a mechanism which implies that it is not performing as well as expected. Apart from the measure being unfounded, I believe that it will be a burden on Bulgaria's future participation in all European institutions" he reasoned.
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