Bulgaria’s President Calls for Fair Distribution of Immigration Burden in EU
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has underscored the need for an integrated European approach to refugee issues at an informal meeting of the Arraiolos Group in Braga, Portugal.
During the meeting, the heads of state of nine EU countries agreed that the EU had to take steps to solve the problems causing refugee waves and at the same time ensure humane treatment of people who had reached their common borders in line with EU and global standards, according to the press office of the Bulgarian President.
The 10th informal meeting of the Arraiolos Group brought together the presidents of Portugal, Germany, Poland, Austria, Finland, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, and Bulgaria.
“Over the past year alone, terrorism forced millions of people to leave their homes and head for the EU borders. This is why we share the belief that we can only solve the problem with terrorist organizations if we work together, within a broad coalition,” Plevneliev insisted.
“Coping with refugee flows requires heightened attention on the part of EU institutions and a common EU policy,” Plevneliev remarked.
“It is very encouraging that the new European Commission includes a Commissioner with substantial experience in the sphere of immigration, namely Greece’s representative. It will not be easy, because crises cannot be solved in a day,” the Bulgarian President stated.
During the meeting, Plevneliev reiterated his calls for a fair distribution of the burden of the immigration wave, for strengthening European institutions, Frontex, and, most of all, boosting preventive measures.
“In order to be efficient, we have to pay attention to Syria, Libya, Lebanon, and Ukraine, and work there in order to make it possible for these people to live in their home countries instead of becoming refugees,” he said.
Plevneliev cited Eurostat data indicating thаt 60% of the immigrants entering the EU headed for a total of only 5 countries, while 90% of them aimed for a total of 10 countries.
“This shows that we do not have a fair distribution of the burden. This is precisely what the new EU policy should focus on,” Plevneliev declared.
He pointed out that the participants in the meeting had reached agreement on the need for a swift adoption of the policy aimed at coping with the migratory pressure and they expected actions on the part of the EC.
Plevneliev suggested that the common point in the debates on problems in the energy sphere and refugees was the fact that complex problems such as these could only be solved through a unified European approach and the joint efforts of the Member States.
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