Deputy PMs, FM Present Bulgarian Stance on Refugee Crisis

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | September 8, 2015, Tuesday // 14:43
Bulgaria: Deputy PMs, FM Present Bulgarian Stance on Refugee Crisis From left to right: Deputy PM Rumyana Bachvarova, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, Deputy PM Meglena Kuneva, Deputy PM Ivaylo Kalfin. Photo: BGNES

Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Ministers Rumyana Bachvarova, Meglena Kuneva and Ivaylo Kalfin and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov presented on Tuesday the country's stance on the unprecedented refugee crisis facing Europe.

Earlier on Tuesday, the four ministers had discussed the issue with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, daily Dnevnik informs.

The ministers insisted on synchronising the legislation of EU member states with the aim of increasing the sanctions against people illegally transporting immigrants across the border.

They also called for a common European prosecutor's office to deal with the crime of trafficking.

It was revealed that Bulgaria was already working towards creating a specialised unit between the interior ministry and the prosecution, which will be tasked with busting trafficking rings and imposing strict sanctions on them.

Bachvarova stated that Bulgaria approves the idea for the creation of common European registration centres for asylum candidates in the countries subject to serious migrant pressure such as Greece and Italy.

At the same time Bulgaria proposes for discussion on the opening of such centres in the main countries of origin and their bordering states.

Mitov noted that the creation of such centres in the countries closest to conflicts will decrease the influx towards Europe.

Bulgaria reaffirmed its desire for change to the Dublin agreement, which stipulates that the refugees should be returned to the member state through which they first entered the EU.

Instead, the country demands for a unified refugee status valid for the whole of Europe or unified asylum requests.

Kuneva remarked that Germany currently does not apply the Dublin agreement as the country does not return refugees.

According to her, this proved the need for complete revision of the return practices and the creation of a new European policy on the issue.

In order to facilitate the return of immigrants, who do not fulfill the criteria for asylum, Bulgaria reaffirmed its call for the creation of a uniform European list on the safe countries of origin.

The asylum request of a foreigner originating from such a country will be rejected and the return will be facilitated.

Kalfin noted that in this unprecedented crisis, the EU could not afford to accept economic immigrants and distinction should be made between people fleeing conflict and those seeking better living standard.

Bachvarova hinted that Bulgaria will likely agree with the updated EU quotas for the distribution of newly arrived refugees, which proposes for the country to accept 1500 people rather than the initially foreseen 500 migrants.

She understood the need for increasing the quotas, but noted that it was also important to take into account the capabilities of each member state as well as the wishes of the refugees.

The ministers highlighted the need for a common EU foreign policy directed towards bringing to an end the conflicts stimulating the refugee waves.

Mitov called on countries of the Middle East to assume greater responsibility for the refugees.

Kuneva noted that it was necessary to establish a common European structure with an adequate administration, which will be in charge of refugee and immigrant issues.

Having held a conversation with the Romanian European Affairs Minister earlier on Tuesday, she made it clear that Bulgaria and Romania did not share the calls for renationalisation of state borders.

Instead Bulgaria and Romania highlighted the need for consolidating the Schengen Area through the accession of the two countries.

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Tags: Bulgaria, EU, refugees, immigrants, Dublin agreement, Rumyana Bachvarova, Meglena Kuneva, Ivaylo Kalfin, Daniel Mitov, Boyko Borisov, trafficking, Asylum, Romania, Schengen Area, accession, quotas

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