Bulgaria Can Rely on EU Commission Aid Under New Wave of Refugees

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | January 6, 2015, Tuesday // 19:51
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Can Rely on EU Commission Aid Under New Wave of Refugees Accommodation centre for refugees in the Bulgarian town of Harmanli. Photo: BGNES/EPA

The European Commission (EC) is familiar with the increasing number of asylum-seekers in Bulgaria and will cooperate with Bulgarian authorities in providing refugees with asylum.

The EC stated this in a response to a question posed by Bulgarian Member of European Parliament (MEP) Emil Radev on the country's readiness to address a new wave of refugees, electronic daily Dnevnik reports.

The EC explained that in case Bulgaria is faced with a new urgent situation, it will have opportunity to request emergency aid from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

The EC assured that it was working together with the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and in close cooperation with the Bulgarian authorities in improving the country's system for granting asylum, in line with the permanent pressure exerted on Bulgarian borders.

The EC pointed that it granted EUR 5.6 million to Bulgaria in 2013 for increasing and improving the opportunities for reception of asylum-seekers and providing refugees with employment.

More than 4000 reception places have been created with part of these funds, the rest of them going for the provision of medical, psychological and legal aid, as well as for the increase of the administrative capacity.

In conclusion, the EC notes that a crisis in the functioning of the asylum system of a certain member state can undermine the proper functioning of the whole Dublin system.

In line with this, the application of the mechanism stated under article 33 of the Dublin III regulation is a possibility, which the EC might decide to apply against Bulgaria if necessary.

According to Radev, the answer of the EC shows that Bulgaria can rely on its European partners in dealing with a further influx of refugees.

Radev commented that Bulgaria has to be prepared to welcome new refugees due to the ongoing war in Syria and Iraq.

However this was a shared responsibility between the EU member states and the EC has expressed readiness to provide additional support in case the country needs it, the MEP added.

According to data from the EC, the number of asylum-seekers in Bulgaria for the period between January and September 2014 was 6776.

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Tags: Bulgaria, EU, European Commission, asylum-seekers, refugees, aid, AMIF, EASO, Syria, Iraq, Dublin III regulation
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